The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was spent in the mountains of Vermont sitting before the fireplace with my son, husband, sister and father. Usually there are more of us, but this seemed the perfect mix this year as we reminisced about childhood, tackled world issues, gossiped a bit and reconnected in a way that is impossible in our busy schedules. There were long walks in the mountain air through the pines and simple meals we cooked at night. I went for acupuncture in town and not only received it from an adept master of the skill whom I have known since I was in school, but learned a new way of needling passed down from the lineage of Dr. Tung.

Time away from our routines is essential for mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. Now is a good time to plan your ‘times to vacate’ for 2011 whether near or far. When I see a patient for the first time, one of the questions I ask is, “How many vacations do you take a year?” I hope to see 3 or 4. Unfortunately many say zero.

Here is to time away so we can come back with a different perspective, rejuvenated and nourished to begin our lives anew. I wish you well-being and joy in the New Year.

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