Last week, Jeff and I took our first vacation in 2 years. Usually, we use our “vacation days” to attend conferences. Since we’re both ophthalmologists, we partially delude ourselves with the thought that going to Maui or San Diego for a conference is like a vacation. And, of course, we bring the kids (and usually my parents to help watch them), so we figure it’s family time. But, getting up at 6 in the morning to attend 8-10 hours of a conference every day does not make a vacation. So, last week, we went back to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit my parents. My brother came down with his family from Boston and we were able to spend some time with the whole family. Quality, uninterrupted family time. Time spent not constantly in touch with the office or logged into the computer or on my phone. Of course, we still checked into the office daily and handled emergent patient matters, but having a little separation was therapeutic.
It’s nice for my children to have a chance to play with their cousins from the mainland who they don’t see very often. They had a blast! We wanted a shot of my parents with all of their grandkids. Getting 5 kids, 5 years old and under to smile and look at the camera at the same time is no easy feat! But, it’s still a darling shot anyway.
And, it was wonderful for my children to experience Indian culture and food and get dressed up in Indian clothes. The Indian community is quite small here in Hawaii and though my children are Chindian, there’s much more opportunity for them to be familiar with their Chinese side. I love that that so quickly take to participating in Indian cultural events with my parents when we are back on the mainland. (Though Taj really did not like me wearing a bindi, for some reason it scared him!)
The week was a good lesson for me – yes, the office can survive without me. I do not need to micromanage everything. The six hour time difference made that impossible even if it had been an intention. And, it forced me to pause and enjoy the end of summer before the business of the Fall months rush upon us.