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What's in a Name?

Woo hoo! This Saturday is a big holiday around here. And by here, I mean the mega conglomerate of our vast corporate empire - because this coming Saturday is National Avocado Day! Get out your green confetti!

Since this important holiday is on the horizon, I thought it might be a fun opportunity to tell you about our name. Why Perfect Avocado Retreats? Why not any of the 30 other names that were in the running? In our very earliest days, Amy and I spent hours laboring over the right name that would spark just the right feeling and tone with you. We narrowed down the field to just a few choices and did a very scientific poll of our good friends to see how those potential names on the short list landed. We followed the advice of experienced marketers and worked in several different naming realms from the spiritual to very businesslike to very personal. While we got excited in the brainstorming process, no contenders emerged that really seemed to ring our chimes long term.

And then one momentous day, I got an email from Andrea Scher, one of our sheroes. In her email, I read this bit of beauty and wisdom:

It’s tempting to be in fantasy about someday. That fuzzy, happy-ever-after when you get the job, the romantic partner, the family. The bank account is full of dough, the house is just right, you are slim and trim + know how to pick perfect avocados.

Amy and I talked it over, and we hastily threw out all of the marketing expertise, because, when you know, you know.

And I know you know how elusive the perfect avocado is! You watch and check each day, too hard, too hard, still too hard, getting there….too ripe! Or, you may have experienced slicing into that nubby green skin anticipating the perfect pale green interior, only to discover - it’s brown on the inside. Wah wah! Disappointed!

We also loved Andrea’s whole point of being in fantasy about that someday life and felt that it perfectly described how we get into and stay in a place of pseudo-dreaming of that ‘someday’ life, while we remain in our ruts, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. We stay in that safe place, carved out by our own perceived limitations. I can’t help noticing that the imagined ‘someday’ life seems to be made up of a list of perfections - not real dreams. That list of happy-ever-after goals feels like a list of shoulds - it’s not alive the way it is when your friend tells you that she’s quitting her job of 22 years to pursue something else! It’s not vivid with the joy in your daughter’s voice when she tells you she’s not going to have to work in 15 years. Or the enthusiasm you can hear in the news that your other daughter is about to order the tiny house she’s showing you pictures of. And it’s nowhere near as cool as it feels to hit the road in your RV. Not nearly as motivating as a countdown to moving to Amsterdam! These are dreams and plans that are ALIVE!