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The Treasure Hidden Inside the Treasure


I’ve just returned from one of the most perfect weeks of my adult life.

My family and I spend Thanksgiving week every year on Cumberland Island, Georgia. It’s a remote barrier island with no stores – at all – and one dirt road that runs the length of the island. The only way to get there is by boat and you have to bring everything you could possibly need with you because there’s no store to run to if you forget.

Cell phone service is limited because the tree canopy is so thick you can’t get a signal and internet service is sporadic and dial-up slow at best. At worst, it is non-existent.

We spent our days on the beach at low tide where the boys swam almost every day. We had cookouts in the dunes, played wildlife bingo, hunted sharks’ teeth, held a dune diving contest, went on sunset safari’s and crammed as much fun into every waking moment that we possibly could.

The weather was a wonderful co-conspirator, delivering warm sunny days and cool evenings, perfect for being outdoors until children collapsed in exhaustion.

We were surrounded by friends we see each year on the island and our gaggle of children greeted each day as an opportunity to create adventure. I’ve never heard such laughing and shrieking in all my life.

In short, it was perfection.

Well of course it was, you may be thinking.

But see, I went into this vacation about as stressed out as I’ve ever been. so much on my mind, so much to figure out and sort through and plot. I planned on doing a lot of figuring and sorting and plotting while I was on island. I’m a multi-tasker, right? I can enjoy my days and still have my brain in full gear, right?

Apparently wrong. As each magical day trumped itself again and again, my mind was fully immersed and occupied in the joy of the moment. Flying kites, building sand castles, naming the birds in the sky were the only things my brain was willing to entertain.

And believe me, I tried to gently guide it other things. I even got out my legal pad and tried to “just jot a few notes”. No dice. The minute I tried, some delicious new distraction would present itself and I was off.

After a few days, I just quite pretending I was going to get any work done or even thought about. There were far more enticing people, places and things around me and that’s just the way it was.

And, I have to say that after a week of no work at all of any kind – not even business thoughts – my brain and spirit are filled up, ready to bring it, ready to think and solve and plot.

And the best part is, I think that whatever I come up with now is going to head and shoulders above anything I could have come up with before.

I know I often say “Eye on the prize.” But sometimes I think we need to take our eyes off the prize and just breathe and be. That is the unexpected hidden treasure I discovered amongst my treasured days last week.


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