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All the Shiny Things

Glacier6With the weather warming up, many of us will be taking vacations, weekend getaways and having parties to enjoy the summer season with family and friends. Planning and taking these getaways is not always relaxing, though. For many people, this can stem from having too many things to think about and do all at the same time. We talk with our clients a great deal about how to stay focused and and be present in order to find balance and well-being in life. This month's blog highlights how some of the Northstar team relaxes and how appreciation of simplicity can remind us that we don't need to keep piling it on: literally or figuratively.

In a world where we often have more choices than we know what to do with, there is something actually liberating in having only a few things to do and to decide upon. It's nice to wake up and say, "Hey, should we bike, golf or swim today?" And all the shiny objects of our digitally super-powered lifestyle—well, they never look duller.

Summer SunsetJulie's family visits relatives on Chebeague Island in Maine every summer. It is something to look forward to because of its simplicity. It is a small island off the coast of southern Maine in Casco Bay. It's quiet and quaint with beaches and a nine-hole golf course that overlooks the ocean. Julie and her family bring bikes over on the boat from Portland, bike around the island, keep their phones off as often as possible and enjoy the fresh air and the effortlessness of limited options. Modern conveniences that allow us all to do more in less time—they seem a lot less necessary when the sun and warm breeze settle on your shoulders as you walk down a New England Beach.

Mindy recently recalled her trip to Glacier National Park in Montana. "We hiked, skipped rocks, played cards and saw tons of wildlife. There was no cell signal in most of the park, which really helped you stay in the moment." Tina recently went on vacation with her husband (and no kids) for the first time in over twenty years. Her favorite part was just sitting quietly on the beach and listening to the waves.

A vacation is a time to recharge our batteries, but perhaps we can take some of this into our daily lives to feel more calm and less pressured to juggle a hundred things at once.
Are you sure your life needs to be as complicated as it is, the palm trees or the water or the mountains always seem to ask. I doubt that many would look out and say, "Yes."

So as you embark on this season that can be filled with so many choices and pressure to have fun and attend every party or plan a perfect trip, remember to work in some simplicity and focus on quality not quantity of activities. We can often think that we need to do more than we have to in order to make others happy or feel fulfilled. Maybe we only need to do a few things and let life be a little simpler.

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