April 14, 2015
What Vacation Taught Me
I learned two lessons while on vacation last week.
1. I need to take more vacations.
2. I need to be more vacation-y everyday. (It is not a word. But it should be.)
One morning in the middle of my vacation week I went out for a run. It was my first run outside in probably 5 or 6 months. I ran for 45 minutes on a beautiful, sunny day, surrounded by blooming trees and flowers and bright blue skies. It was just wonderful. It was wonderful to be outside and not be cold. It was wonderful to run. It was wonderful to be surrounded by beauty. It was wonderful to be alone and listen to my own music. But most of all it was wonderful to be running along with the vacation attitude.
I feel lighter, on vacation. I feel like I've left something behind at home. To-Do Lists. Responsibilities. Routines. Grief. Cold. Heaviness. A Rut.
Running feels easier. Everything feels easier.
I got in four rounds of golf while I was there. And I had a few awesome shots. One pretty good round. But I mostly I played pretty awful. And I loved it. Because I was on vacation. Where there really are no rules and everything is easy going.
Which begs two questions: Why do I wait so long to go on vacation? and Why can't I translate this attitude and feeling to my everyday life?
Right now, we have a long span of time with no vacations...pretty much from Thanksgiving (our last trip of the year home to visit family) until an Easter-time Spring Break at the end of March. That's four months with no change of scenery. And it's the four worst months of the year...the winter months. When it's cold and snowy and we're mostly stuck inside and oftentimes sick. And I end up a bit depressed. Maybe more than a bit.
It's really quite awful.
Now, between April and November, we're all over the place. This year we'll take at least 6 trips in those 8 months. That's pretty darn good. But that wintertime vacation drought is just no good. I think I need to add a couple of trips in there. Everyone should have a break from January and February if they live in the north. Even just a little overnight somewhere relatively close. Though somewhere warm and sunny would be the best.
Those vacations are important. The break in routine. The change of scenery. It's important.
But what's probably more important is figuring out how to translate that vacation attitude to day-to-day life at home. Why can't most days feel like vacation days?
I am so sick of feeling like I'm slogging through the muck and mire of to-dos and should-dos and get-it-dones. I'm sick of feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff there is to do. I'm sick of letting those time-sensitive "must-dos" get in the way of the stuff I really want to be doing...reading, writing, being creative, going for a walk, playing with my kids, hanging out with my husband, chatting with friends. There is always more laundry to do, more errands to run, more meals to cook, more phone calls to make, more emails to read...
I'm suddenly having a bit of blog-deja-vu. I just realized that I wrote about a similar idea around this same time last year. (You can see it here: http://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2014/04/top-ten-mantras-for-my-life-right-now.html) Maybe it's seasonal for me. Maybe it's the difference between sweet sunny skies and cold rainy clouds.
Maybe I simply need more vacation attitude at home. Maybe I need to wake up and not worry about getting the carpets cleaned and finding a landscaper and getting the kids to school on time and squeezing in a trip to the grocery store. Maybe I need to wake up and smile and enjoy my cup of coffee and then head out onto the golf course for a quick 9 holes.
Oh, wait. Right. That's the part I can't translate to my regular home life.
But maybe I can still ignore all the other stuff that I'm "supposed to be doing" and instead play a game of Go Fish. Color some pictures. Read a book. Write a book.
And if the rain and clouds and cold ever go away, I can go for a run outside.
Maybe I need to cut things down to just what is truly essential, and let the other stuff go. Maybe then things won't get overwhelming. And maybe I won't become Debbie Downer.
Until next time, let a little vacation attitude into your everyday life. Let the dishes wait. Sit back and put your feet up. Relax. And when that sunshine peaks out from behind the clouds, soak it in, my friend. Soak it all in.