Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vacation Mourning

There is a build up for weeks - even months. Getting a hundred things done, going shopping for clothes, snacks and anything that will make the travel easier and more carefree. We plan and pack for hours or days to make sure we have everything we need and BOOM! It's all over.


It's over until the next time. Months or a year from now. Sometimes it's good to be home. It's nice to sleep in our own bed and get some normalcy back. Talk about and revisit the trip. Look at pictures.

Then the sadness is there. A drop.

Often I feel tired - even cranky - after a vacation. We have so much work to do to 'un-do' everything we did to make the vacation great.

It's not that I don't enjoy my life. I just love having the lack of distraction that means I really watch and listen to my children. I really engage with my husband. I really relax. That 'in the moment' living that we work so hard to have every day is almost effortless when you are away. 

2013 State Park Fun
We make new memories. For some trips, it's the simplicity of making lunch or picking up a wayward toy that I can fully enjoy because it's not taking me away from something else that I am supposed to be doing.

When you work for yourself, you can always be working. There is no time when the work truly stops. For my business type (enrichment education), there are really only a couple of times a year that you can really step away without guilt or worry. That is the time that you look forward to recharge and refresh me. To spark new ideas.

This year I didn't get that time. We had a medical emergency come up and had to use the time and money to travel for that emergency. Happily, the medical part worked out and all is okay. So I should be grateful and just be happy that there were no major consequences, right?

Instead, I just feel sad. I've been irritable and unable to focus and many other signs of depression. I recognize it. I am doing things to fight it like being grateful, spending time with my family and friends, exercising, etc.

However, I think it's important to also name it. Call it what it is. I am mourning the vacation that I didn't have this year. I am mourning the loss of something I looked forward to for months. Something that kept me going during the crazy busy times and the guilty days of telling my kids I can't play today.


It wasn't anything fancy. Just a few days when my out-of-office email was on and I could go swimming with my children. When I could sleep in and not wake up feeling guilty for not starting earlier or getting back to that person immediately. A week that I was only accountable to the three people in my family and could give them (and myself) full attention they deserve.

However, when I get really honest, I would be mourning it, even if it happened. Because what I've learned about vacations is they all end and there is always a sadness that follows. There is always a longing for more time and more adventure.

What is there to do for poor schmucks like me? One thing is figure out a way that your day-to-day life can feel like an adventurous vacation. Our New HabitsWaypoints do help us stay connected and to be mindful. We are also working on less distraction and even more purposeful living with our Revolution of Dematerialization, though this is a big project and is taking some time.

I don’t expect everyone to understand. I know many people don’t get to take any vacations. I’m empathetic to those far worse off than me. However, I still have these feelings. I am still being affected by this ‘loss’ and trying to work through it.

Am I the only one? Do others have the post-vacation sadness?

Much Love,
Chris


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