A friend was inspired by my recent post and suggested I elaborate more on my annual sisters weekend. So here is the back story. My parents divorced when I was in middle school. My mom passed away fairly young, when I was in my late twenties.
In my early twenties, my Dad told me there would be no more Christmas or birthday gifts from him. I remember being a bit upset by this. But what he did instead was more impactful. Instead of buying gifts throughout the year, he would take us on a family vacation. Looking back several decades later, this was much more memorable.
My Mom noted the fun we had on vacations with Dad. Why did she not take us on any vacations? Maybe she didn’t want to compete with him or maybe she thought she couldn’t afford it. Mom did take one sister and me to a very upscale spa resort for a long weekend vacation several years prior to her passing. I remember this being a very enjoyable time for her. She loved to spend time with her children. This may have been one of her reasons for working.
When a windfall came after she passed, my sisters and I didn’t need the extra money at the time. Together, we thought one thing that Mom might have regretted in life was taking more vacations with her family. One sister recommended we put the extra money in a fund to dedicate to taking vacations together and remembering our Mom. We would get together for one weekend every year with this money.
Thanks to wise investments, this fund has lasted us over 20 years and is budgeted out for another 4 years. Even with husbands and kids, we still make time for this very special weekend every year with just the three of us. How often do you get together with just your siblings and no spouses or kids? We know how rare this is and we are very grateful for this time together.
Over that last twenty years there were some lean years and we would not all have been able to get together if it was not for this fund from my Mom. After the fund is diminished, all sisters have agreed to add to it and continue these annual weekends together. My sister Nancy mentioned that she has had such a great experience with this that she plans to leave money in her will designated to this fund for the next generation. Perhaps they will rename it a cousins fund. These memories will expand and the cousins will have a new adventure every year! Wow! What a gift!
This is what life is about– spending time with loved ones. This is the reason I want to continue to declutter: to have more time & experiences with my family. My goal is to go on vacations rather than get caught up with the cleaning & maintenance of my stuff. Now you might ask, even if I do have lots of clutter, can’t I still go on vacation and spend time with my family? Yes of course. For me it is more difficult and more time consuming to get out of a house full of clutter. I am able to leave quicker and more easily if I have less stuff in my home.
If you are up for a challenge, here it is: start planning a vacation or stay-cation today.
Do you have a recommendation for a post? I would love to hear. Please leave it in the comments below or email me at: email@example.com
Thanks for reading and sharing! ~Ellen