Nine Suitcases

That awful moment when you realize this is your circus, and those are your monkeys…

I am hoping that the ten days of Enneagram blogs brought some insight and laughter to those of you interested in the wisdom that this personality typing system offers. It was a pre-arranged topic on my part, designed to fill some days while I was away on  vacation.

Even though I was not busy writing, the daily topic of the Enneagram provided fertile conversation for all 8 travelers in our group (Along with my hubby and three kids, my parents and Aunt were there too.) There was a lot of playful Enneagram banter that went on between all of us.  (Even our 9 year old son was hard at work trying to figure out what type he was by the end of the trip.)

Our Enneatypes definitely made for a colorful grouping-.

The Type One (Perfectionist) wore a perfectly color coordinated outfit from head to toe- every single day….

The Type Six (Loyalist) was very mindful of the cultural considerations of the area we had traveled to and made certain to be respectful of same.

The Type Nine  (Peacekeeper) stayed busy keeping the daily itinerary for our group running smoothly,

The Type Four (Indivdualist) wistfully contemplated how quickly our time together was ticking by.

The Type five (Observer) stayed pretty quiet except for offering an occasional and very astute info-bite about our immediate surroundings.

The Type Two  (Helper) made sure everyone wore sunscreen at all times.

The Type Three  (Achiever) continually yelled ‘watch this!’ while diving head first into the ocean waves

And the Type Eight (Leader) continually pointed out and demonstrated a more correct way to dive head first into the same waves.

I would say that for the most part, we all stayed in the healthier aspects of our Enneatypes- with the exception of our time spent in the rental car.

The issue with the car was this: It was a seven passenger minivan and there were 8 of us- with 9 pieces of luggage. This was compounded by the fact that three occupants were taller than 6’3″, two were vocal back seat drivers, and one was prone to car sickness. None of this was good- but it was funny- and it became even funnier when we started making cracks about one another based on our enneagram types.  Our car pool commentary has convinced me beyond doubt, that the Enneagram is one of the very best ways on the planet to ‘fight fair’ with one another- because it is such a brilliant reminder that we are all just a slightly different shade of screwed up…


After 8 days of ‘family togetherness’ we arrived back into our hometown around 1am Thursday – barely speaking…. Exhausted from all of the necessary evils of travel, we had all disintegrated into our worst Enneagram selves…(Out of nowhere while we waited at the luggage carousel I heard the still matching usually very proper Type One(Perfectionist) mutter ‘What the sh*t?’ to no one in-particular as the parade of bags began to circle by us.  This small detail hit my funny bone like a sledge hammer because it so succinctly summed up the general mood of our group at that moment….(I still cannot pull up this memory without dissolving into laughter…)

It had been an idyllic vacation, but by 1am Thursday, we were cooked… all 8 of us were D.O.N.E.

After two days of rest and umpteen loads of laundry, today I am feeling grateful- grateful for the awesome vacation we got to enjoy, but I will be the first to shoot down any illusions that big vacations are the norm in our lives. Vacations of any sort are rare- and I am very okay with that, because vacations hold no real magic in and of themselves. The magic for us was not in the destination we traveled to; the magic was in that seven passenger minivan that was holding 8 lives close together – leaving no room for anything except laughter and memories.

Oh and 9 suitcases.