Keeping the Balance

Posted by: | September 3, 2010

Sunday marked the end of my little sister’s one month stay in Vancouver. Seventeen and free of any real responsibility, she abandoned ship in Ontario and flew out for thirty days of summer fun. Being the fabulous older sister I am, I put her up (in my living room mind you) and dragged her around the lower mainland, insisting she experience a taste of genuine BC living.

As much an experience as it was for her, I found myself thriving on our adventurous endeavors and the escape from my everyday. Breaking free of always having “productive” plans in the evenings, I felt obligated to get out there and show her all this beautiful province had to offer. Many things we experienced together, zip-trekking for example, were things I would have never attempted on my own. Although in that case I was the one coaxing her off the platform, she definitely pushed me to let loose and enjoy the most action packed month I could imagine.

While rediscovering the city was fun, hosting visitors can certainly be stressful and personally I find it often forces me to abandon my everyday routine to entertain. The reality of the situation is that more and more meals are eaten out, time for exercise is robbed by sightseeing, and every night feels like the weekend (though work continually arrives each morning). Slowly personal space is taken over, relationships are strained and a vacation can quickly become a burden.

My sister’s lightheartedness seemed to ease nearly every tension that arose on her trip, though I have learned the significance of scheduling personal time away from the chaos of visitors. Spending time each day to reflect is something I cherish a lot and also something I notice significantly when missed. I find I need this solitude to fully function and engage throughout my day. Taking a mini 5 minute vacation of my own helps me survive the vacations of my guests.

All in all, I wouldn’t have traded my August 2010 in for anything. Being the eight years younger that she is, my sister and I had never really had the opportunity to connect on this level before. Catching up on each other’s lives was significant for us both and seeing the fabulous young woman she has become was heartwarming for me. Despite some of the minor stressors we went through, we really built a much stronger relationship that will undoubtedly be sustained in the future. I know the time we shared will always be fond memories for us both! I do however, now realize and understand the full importance of self time. Balance is always essential. For ideas on achieving this balance check out these quick tips. For ideas on how to get your visitors out of the house (and actually allow you some self time) check out Tourism Vancouver.

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