Weekly Column: A Vacation Epiphany

©Stephenie Freeman

The Golfer and I are currently on vacation. Granted it’s a working vacation for the Golfer, but when it’s your only opportunity to get away without your children you take whatever you can get.

The best part of any vacation, as far as I’m concerned, is the hot tub. It just so happens that this vacation we are blessed with our own private hot tub right outside of our room. To sit and relax uninterrupted is a rare treat, and in the three days that we’ve been here we’ve gotten into the hot tub a total of 4,236 times.

One of the many times that I was in the hot tub, relaxing with my head resting on the curved cement edge, I saw several black ants. I was so incredibly relaxed that seeing these ants didn’t startle me and they certainly weren’t about to ruin my hot tubing experience. Instead I just sat and watched the little guys like they were my special hot tub half-time show.

Did you know that ants will carry other dead ants back home? I sat there long after the bubbles had stopped, watching this ant try to carry his buddy back to the colony. The poor guy was having a heck of a time navigating all of the bumpy crevices of the cement, having to stop and readjust his dead friend more than once. To make matters worse, there were all of these other ants zipping by, as if there was a party at the colony that they were in a hurry to get to. But the ant carrying his friends continued his slow death march, at times coming a little too close to joining me in the hot tub more than once.

This poor ant was having such a hard time that I found myself thinking, “Just leave him. Carrying around all of that dead weight is too hard on you. You’re going to end up dead too if you aren’t careful.” As hard as this poor ant was trying, he seemed to only be making his life more difficult. Even though he was trying to do the right thing, he was taking the long way around and missing out on the party.

I’m pretty sure that it was from being overexposed to bubbles and heat for too long, but in that moment I experienced a Vacation Epiphany. A Vacation Epiphany is something that you have when you are away from home long enough for your life to start to make sense again. All of the chaos and carpooling and LEGOS are no longer clouding your vision and things become clear once again.

Just like that ant, I have been carrying around a lot of my own dead weight. I carry around the same dead weight that most mothers do: the dead weight of worry, the dead weight of frustration, and the dead weight of exhaustion. All of these things weigh me down and keep me from enjoying the good things in life. Like that poor ant, I was at risk of drowning if I wasn’t careful.

Vacations are a good place to get rid of all of your dead weight; to leave it all behind in the hotel room returning home with a renewed sense of purpose. Unfortunately, the minute you walk in your front door the chaos of your real life hits you in the face like a blast of cold air and it’s almost as if you were never on a vacation in the first place.

But not this time. No, this time I’ve learned my lesson. I am unloading the dead weight of worry, frustration, and exhaustion and dumping it in the hot tub to drown.

I’m just hoping my little ant friend doesn’t decide to pick it up and carry it back to the colony.


  1. Stacey

    Awesome analogy! I love it! Hebrews 12:1 & 2, “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” So good to know he carried it all!

    Come home all wrinkled and pruney! =)

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