Mental Health Survival
So for 3 years in a row I have not faired well during our last week of furlough. My emotions are running rampant. My thoughts are a mass of confused conflicting feelings. Dreading saying goodbye and yet anxious to return to a land I have come to love. There is the daunting task of gathering all of our purchases and packing them up. Every bag/box needing to weigh as close to 20 kilos as possible. Saying goodbye. Dealing with the families emotions and needs. Last minute shopping. Preparing for 3 days of flying. Lists of last minute “to do’s.” I have really come to dislike the last week of furlough.
Strategically this year I came up with a last week of furlough plan. I called it my, ‘'”Mental Health Week.” I did 3/4 of the packing at the beginning of the week and then hit the road for lots of time with family and friends, out and about.
One of my favorite parts of that week was meeting up with my parents at a bed and breakfast, called White Stone Inn. Darron and I frequent there almost every year because generously they give free nights to missionaries. It is an amazing place, a haven, set in rolling hills on the Tennessee River and designed to be a place for true renewal.
The older guys were at summer camp. Darron was chopping wood. It was just, Jacob, Nathaniel, myself and my parents.
Memories were made and lots of conversations had. While the boys couldn’t get enough of going out in the kayaks, canoe, and paddle boats, I think that one trip in the paddle boat did it for Mom and Dad.
We all had great fun playing Shuffle Board. This brought back sweet family memories, as often my parents, brothers and I would play shuffle board during teen years. I never remember my Dad getting so much LEG action in.
We decided that mental health survival plans are good. Making memories is priceless. Delaying goodbyes until the last moment possible is much better than 3 weeks too soon. Thanks Mom and Dad for being willing to be part of my mental health week. : )