This week we say farewell to Fr. Cummings. I keep saying to all who will listen, “I treasure the laughs and fraternity that we have shared in the rectory of St. Mary during the past year. Fr. Cummings has be a huge welcoming, humorous, and hard-working part of making my first year here be such a joy. Thank you Fr. Cummings!
Additionally, I have been contemplating a conversation with a parishioner who recently returned from a vacation where no internet or cellular technology was available. He had a huge smile on his face because of the real human interaction that took place with his children! Now imagine if we freely chose to make our vacations like this!
It made me recall that when I was growing up, one of the rules for our family vacations at the beach was that the TV could not be turned on. Yep, sounds radical, and at the time it seemed like the end of civilization to me. But those beach vacations are some of my greatest childhood memories and are crucial to strengthening family bonds. I treasure the energy that my parents put into being sure that we had fun as a family, even putting up with the whining about TV restrictions (and I am sure that we annoyed them with plenty of begging for the TV rule to be relaxed). Eventually we became accustomed to the rule to the point that when I am at the beach now, I find that if others are watching too much TV the noise is a distraction from my purpose of relaxing.
Ok, now let’s be also realistic. If you try to enact a ‘no internet’ ‘no TV’ and ‘no cell phone’ rule completely out of the blue… well, best of luck! But maybe you could ease into this over a couple of years. Maybe try “no internet and cell phones after 12:00 Noon.” And of course these rules have to apply to all members of the family. You are creative and smart… how can you help your vacation truly be an escape from the pressures and demands that vex you?? Give it a whirl!