Take a Vacation from Your Problems

Do you remember the movie “What About Bob?”  It came out in 1991 starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. It portrays a successful psychiatrist who loses his mind after one of his incessantly dependent patients tracks him down on vacation and refuses to leave.

Not only is the movie very funny, but it has some real pearls of wisdom in it as well. For example, Dr. Leo Marvin (played by Dreyfuss) has written a book entitled Baby Steps, and is describing it to his patient Bob Wiley (played by Murray) in the following way:

Baby steps means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself. One day at a time, one tiny step at a time—doable, accomplishable goals. When you leave this office, don’t think about everything you have to do to get out of the building, just deal with getting out of the room. When you reach the hall, just deal with the hall. And so forth…baby steps.

This simple concept has proven to be very meaningful to many people who use it, and is at the heart of achieving desired changes in one’s life.

Dreyfuss’ character goes on to discuss the concept of “taking a vacation from our problems.” Isn’t that basically what we all want to do; take a vacation from the daily stresses that are often associated with career obligations, household duties, and other life responsibilities? 

Summer is a great time to take a vacation from our problems! When this time of year arrives, the focus turns to vacation spots rather than our usual concerns of the day. Summer seems to signal and mark the welcome arrival of planning our relaxation.

This is a time to change up our routines, and put the emphasis on fun and outdoor activities. For certain parts of the country, it is a time to bloom and return from winter hibernation to embrace the long awaited warm weather. For others, however, summer weather means a time to escape the high temperatures, and head out for cooler places.

Regardless of our location, we all share the common need of relaxation. Although it is nice to have a consistent vacation spot, it can be exciting to mix it up as well. For example, my husband and I are planning to join two other couples this year at a family lake home.

As a child, there were many visits to our neighbor’s lake home where we did a great deal of water skiing. Initially, the only focus was the number of attempts it took to stay up on the skis and once accomplished, it was truly exhilarating.

I don’t think there is a wrong way to spend vacations. However, if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with the details, just remember to take baby steps, and one by one, you will move nearer to your destination. Similarly, taking small steps toward living in vacation mode all year long, with regularly scheduled enjoyment, would be a worthwhile adventure as well.

Action Step:

Take one small baby step today toward ‘vacationing’ from your problems.

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10 thoughts on “Take a Vacation from Your Problems

  1. What a well written article! I love that movie and often remember Bob’s great joy in simple things like that homemade chicken dinner (and funny how all his ‘MMmmm’s’ angered Leo!). But I really appreciate your reminder of Leo’s wise tips, and how you’ve tied it in with enjoying our summer (or anytime) right here, right now, today! Such important advice, to remain present and not get caught up in ‘planning our relaxation’. This is one of my favorite posts of yours (so far!). Thank you so much for sharing. It truly inspires me. Blessings, Gina

    • Thank you so much Gina, for all your high praise! I am truly delighted that you enjoyed this post, and appreciate the wonderful way you expressed your comments. It is fun picturing Leo getting easily upset with Bob, as he enjoyed the simple things, as you mentioned. 🙂 Always a pleasure hearing from you.

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