Vacations are, or should be, restorative. Don’t you think?
For years, I took vacations to catch up on life. I would carefully carve out a date and then, when approved, spend the week catching up on everything I couldn’t get done while working a 40-hour week. I would run errands, schedule long put-off doctor appointments, change out seasonal clothing, and scrub my place from top to bottom. No dust bunny was safe! I would come away feeling refreshed and able to tackle the coming year with a new zest for my life—personal and work.
When someone told me I should be taking a “real” vacation, I would look at them with the most stern of looks. As they carried on about what a “real” vacation is supposed to be, my mind worked frantically on how I could safeguard my precious time off to do whatever I wanted for a whole week—free of answering, or committed, to anyone but myself.
Finally, one year, my boss convinced me to take a trip to see his parents in East Texas. I did it on my terms. I chose the dates, how long I would stay, and how I would get there. It was a wonderful experience. I loved the trees and the area, the peace and quiet of where I stayed, and the idea that I was on a “real” vacation. Well, not quite, really. It wasn’t Hawaii, or Greece, or Spain. But, it was more of a vacation, in the eyes of others, than I had ever taken before then. I felt accomplished.
The interesting thing is the whole time I was on that “get-away” vacation, I was trying to figure out how I would tackle all the things that weren’t getting done on this once-a-year week. My mind swirled with ideas on how to squeeze it all in. I couldn’t wait until the following year, so I could go back to taking my own kind of vacation where I could catch up on life and feel restored once again. And, now that this vacation was over, I still had to travel the twelve hours back home.
Once I was married, there was no question about staying home for a vacation of restoration. Since we lived away from both our families, our vacations were spent on the road traveling to his family or mine and back again. Although I wouldn’t trade any time spent with any of our families, the tight schedule we had to adhere to kept me from using any of it to get caught up from the past year or ahead for the coming year. Each year, each vacation left me more exhausted and unrestored than the one before it.
Once both my husband and I got some longevity behind us in our workplaces, we had the wonderful bonus of having more than one vacation week per year. With this luxury came vacations spent getting to visit our families and getting to relax at the coast, as well as one or two vacation weeks on our own, doing whatever we felt we needed to spend it on or get done.
Today, due to being in the middle of a life transition, I’m happily back to using most of my vacations for restorative purposes. This includes taking an email webinar, two doctor appointments, visiting with a sister, a massage and then dinner with friends, catching up on paperwork, blogging, having my two grandchildren for a sleepover, and taking a nap whenever I want. Life or vacations can’t get much better than that for me.
So, tell me, what are your vacations like? Do you go to Cancun or Cozumel? Do you travel to a different state each time? Do you visit the coast or the mountains? However you get to spend yours, I hope that it is doing what you love, either catching up on life, getting ahead, enjoying nature and or family, and basically just being restored. What’s a vacation, if it isn’t restorative?
If you feel frazzled lately and cannot take a vacation at this time, perhaps you’d enjoy reading my book, “Honor One Another: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within.” It’s a short, easy read with 26 ways, from A to Z, on how we can embrace ourselves and find ways to feel more comfortable in our own skin. You can find it on my website author page. If you choose to read it and find it to helpful, please be sure to give it an A+ rating on Amazon and or Goodreads. Thanks so much!