Recently, we had the opportunity to take my entire family to Aruba.

The short version is it was amazing – in many ways.

The long version is the “why I say it was amazing. IE Why I say it was so amazing.

How we got there is worth knowing.

For some time an all family trip to somewhere special has been a bucket list trip for my wife. It took unusual circumstances for us to be able to make it all happen. Seriously, there were 9 of us. 7 adults and 2 grandkids (ages 1 & 3). Of the 7 adults, 6 work and 1 is in high school. So, there were a lot of moving parts for each of us.

Since this blog is about 10,000 days of life, this trip will rate as some of the greatest days of those 10,000 (actually of all my life days so far).

My goal is to live each day with intent and to end each day with reflection. Even in Aruba I tried to do that. This is where some of the more personal moments happened for me.

For example, while sitting together on the back patio one evening, an incredible feeling of pride came over me. Not the pride that repels people. I’m talking about the pride that comes from doing something incredibly right. The pride that literally feels like it swells within your heart. That pride. I was overwhelmed with it. Why? Because we were ONE.

There was no brokenness. No rifts. No negativity. Just real love and guttural laughter all around. It was epic for sure.

Also, I felt real joy. The joy that comes from knowing that hard choices in life had been made to be there. The joy of knowing the cost (intangible) of being there. Everyone there (minus the kids) had paid a price to be there. And, furthermore, we were all there…present…involved…focused. It added even more to the experiences and memories created.

Another part of what made the trip special was the peace of the moments and the overall feel of everyone and everything. It certainly was partly because of being in Aruba. However, it was more about the “we” of everyone going all in and everyone doing their part as needed. It kept stress away from everyone. I’m not sure what the presence of peace is worth, but it’s definitely in the top 3 for me. Personally, I don’t think peace comes easily.

I’ve said all that to say this…the trip was amazing because of the depth of relationship everyone had with everyone else. Whether it was me and my wife, me and kids or me and grandkids. Or, whether it was one of them with everyone else, the closeness couldn’t be faked and that’s what made it amazing.

As a man, husband, father, Dapa (the name my grandsons call me) or any other hat I wear, the point of it all is to have moments in life that transcend the moment themselves. Moments that happen below the surface and can’t be faked. Moments that resonate with something inside that says, “this is perfect”.

That’s what it’s all about in my opinion.

Trading 8 pennies for the memories created were beyond worth it.

Stay focused.