Gluttony is the word that describes my last 6 day vacation in Reno. The days just flew by full of food, laughter, beers, wine, desserts, and more food, laughter, and yes even more libation. It was a whirlwind vacation with a Thanksgiving feast, family gatherings, my son’s birthday party, a baptism of my niece, pictures with Santa and ending with a hike into the mountains of Toiyabe National Forest to find our own Christmas tree. Here is a family pic (possible Xmas card?)
For six days my only focus was my immediate and extended family. It felt awesome. Of course it took me a few days to mostly unplug my life. I say mostly, since I did send a few twitter updates during the six days. Being an Internet junkie and a recent convert to social networking sites, it was difficult to completely unplug. It took all I had to hold myself back from checking all of the news/tech/digg/sports/facebook/google reader/twitter gadgets on my igoogle page as I stared at a beautiful 24 inch iMac screen in my sister-in-law’s home. It was harder still to ignore my emails on my blackberry which constantly reminds me of incoming mail with a tone only described as “caffeine”. My favorite blackberry button during the week was “delete on handheld”. Even in my SF home when our eldest is away in preschool, you would mostly find my wife and I in the living room with our laptops, browsing, checking emails and working while instant messaging each other sitting side by side. Geeky I know in a cute kind of way of course. And finally it took two days to completely unwind and leave my work life.
In the midst of my vacation, what I began to forget is the world around me: no news, no information, no emails, no status updates. I would not have known about the terrors in Mumbai, the bombing in Somalia, the continued economic downturn, and the possible Obama cabinet members if my news hungry father didn’t tell me about them when I called him to wish both my parents a Happy Thanksgiving.
But most of the six days felt like a Sabbath for me, a true Sabbath of rest and of basking in the life that I now live. It was a time to unwind from the world, work and information overload. This vacation gave me a chance to enjoy those around me, and God’s gifts and creation more abundantly. And it all culminated on our last vacation day while hiking through the forest on our 2nd annual Christmas tree finding expedition. Breathing in the cool crisp air with the crackling sounds of snow under our feet and with family and friends by our side, it was easy to forget my San Francisco and my cyber life. I drank it all in while watching my son and his cousin make snow angels on the ground, staring at my wife lovingly holding and kissing our daughter, smiling at my dog Chewy as he pranced in joy among the snow piles, searching high and low for our perfect Christmas tree, laughing while hearing awful jokes, and yes, downing another beer while holding, no inhaling a bowl full of homemade chili. It was a perfect way to celebrate and end my Sabbath.
The art of forgetting is difficult to master and so needed in life, and this week has reminded and taught me just how important it truly is.