The blinds of my bedroom window remind me of children pushing and shoving as they attempt to move closer in line to the ice cream truck. The blinds collide recklessly with one another and the glass window, swaying back and forth, with the sound growing louder with each gust of wind. I close my eyes and allow the sweetness of Mother Nature to gently caress my face and shower me with her fragrant kisses. I feel vibrant, alive, and completely connected. What better time to enjoy life, than during a summer day. And what better time to celebrate life, than during your birthday. As fate would have it, I have been blessed with both today. I am reminded that each and every day of our lives should be enjoyed and celebrated. We are merely expressions of God's infinite Love and are here to honor Him and ourselves by living each day to its fullest. And there are no better days defined as such, than those had during Summer Vacation.

Chasing dragon flies that fluttered in the summer breeze as the stars lit up the evening sky. Sitting on blistering hot bleachers and cheering as players stole bases. Basking in the sun's fiery rays while fanning beads of perspiration that ran from brow to breast. Lying on a glorious patch of velvety grass as enormous puffs of cotton rolled by in the afternoon high. Waking up with sleepy eyes and light socket hair, so as not to miss a minute of Saturday morning cartoons. Sigh... summer. The time of year when every day magically becomes Saturday. No cares, no worries, only images of freedom and fun bopping on the brain.

Since my childhood, I have dreamt of having a career that complimented my free-spirited, bohemian lifestyle. An existence that encompassed wearing flip flops when naked soles were inappropriate, running through open fields with wild abandon, and humming salutations to strangers as they strolled along the sidewalk that lay beneath us. These were a few of my favorite things and must haves in my daily life. Being a natural born entertainer and smile provider, I initially gravitated toward roles and positions that allowed my Soul the freedom to sing and take center stage. Though my Spirit felt at home when I was sharing my God given talents, I was relentlessly criticized by people's opinions and judgments of how I should live my life. I questioned myself about the reality of success and decided that glitz and glamour wasn't meant for everyone. I threw in the towel after the summer of my 19th year and sought comfort and security over passion and pleasure. Within a matter of months, I was a single mother and on the road to steady employment.

The past fifteen years have seen me through endless jobs that have all shared one common thread, revolving around people. Interacting with them, sharing ideas with them, assisting them with situations - both professional and personal, and greeting them with a smile. Whether I was behind a cash register, desk, or microphone, I was constantly surrounded by people. I would find myself empathizing with my co-worker's bad day, a customer's bad mood, and my boss' bad attitude. Though I was always grateful to be of service, I would often find myself feeling weighed down and depressed during the routine week nights. I would literally live for the weekends. When the clock struck five on a Friday evening, my body couldn't rush out the door fast enough. It was my time. My vacation.

Oddly enough, during my freedom from labor, I would once again make every effort to reach out and connect with people. Without a name tag or title, I would help customers in department stores, listen with an open ear as fellow shoppers voiced their concerns about the outrageous prices, and offered my opinions when they were asked of me. Regardless of receiving a physical paycheck, I was serving humanity. Every fiber of my essence enjoyed being of service. This realization inspired the creation of Happy Hippie Adventures, in effort to serve my purpose.

Two weeks ago, I decided to take a summer vacation from work and just be. It was then that I discovered what summer vacation was and when one should end, or not end. For an entire week, I was just me... myself... as is... completely. Surprisingly, I savored every single minute of it. I will admit, I did have a few moments of challenge, but overall, I was me... to the core. When I was living for the approval of others and working toward my jaded perception of stability, I used to sit in an office of four white walls with a cloud of grey hanging overhead, wishing, begging, and pleading with the Universe to allow me the opportunity to love what I do and do what I love. Not to see work as work, but as an outlet for my being. A way to express myself and honor my purpose. Though the expression of our purpose may change during the course of our life, it's colorful thread remains the same.

The last night of my summer vacation, I recalled that lifeless office and pale time in my life and realized that following my 19th year, summer vacations were lost. I worked nine to five, five days a week and was lucky if I could even afford a vacation. During those days of confined employment, I had forgotten all the lessons learned and gifts given during the days of summer vacation. How liberating it was having no knowledge of time clocks and stress. There was no concept of evaluations or coffee breaks. Life was one big coffee break, one continuous Summer Vacation. It's time to clock out of the myth and rediscover the truth. Life was given as a blessing, our gift. Today I unwrap the present, that is my life, and vow to enjoy each day to the fullest and celebrate Summer Vacation... all year, every year.

May YOU enjoy and celebrate YOUR life all 365 days of your Summer Vacation~

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