Settling into our regular lives, after the holidays or even after a rewarding vacation, we reflect on just how valuable these traditions and practices have proven to be. Family and social life – the courtesies and communication that enable us to accomplish more together than we ever could do alone – are preserved and nourished by these occasions when we call a halt to the hustle-bustle.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

There’s a lesson here for everyday life, if we think carefully about it. After a particularly gratifying season of holidays among The Shops at Sea Pines Center, we are left with some thoughts to share.

The holidays we just enjoyed were particularly peaceful for many this year, because the day of the week when Christmas and the New Year fall have a lot to do with how long a break from routine the holidays offer us. This year, arriving mid-week, the break was about as long as it gets. And yet, the length could be misleading in terms of how important a break can be.

The lessons and experience of generations – as well as some interesting recent scholarship – suggest that snapping out of our diligence and duty occasionally, if only for minutes or hours, can be important to our sense of well-being and satisfaction. These moments of connection lend strength to the relationships that make life worthwhile.

Routine and Relationships

It’s not that routine is an enemy of relationships; in, fact the steadiness of regular practices forms part of the reliability that reassures us in relation to partners, family, loved ones, and friends. But left to itself, routine too often can lead to overlooking. By attending to the must-dos of life reliably and regularly, it’s possible to let those tasks and activities take over our awareness. The mundane can take precedence over the moments and gestures that connect us with the important people in our lives.

The Vital Nature of Connections

How important are these connections with others? The noted historian Yuval Noah Harari writes, in his book Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, that it is our ability to share stories and images with each other that truly sets human beings apart from the rest of the universe. Our capacity to create and share our own versions of what’s going on is what binds us together. All human progress, Harari suggests, stems from this ability.

Perhaps this is why we notice so many people consider The Shops at Sea Pines Center as a very informal forum. Residents pause in the plaza to chat, guests re-connect with each other and with the latest on Sea Pines life, and visitors find out the inside story on how to enjoy Hilton Head Island even more. We are grateful to play this role today, and for generations.