This is the week of vacation. I’ve been looking forward to it all summer, wistfully watching friends and coworkers take off to exotic locales, or visiting family, or just getting away from the daily grind. I’ve noticed that it’s taken me a bit of time to slow down, and I think that’s typical–after all, it’s usually my job to plan, coordinate, verify, count bodies (not including ones I’ve buried and we don’t talk about) and generally ensure that countdown to–and arrival at–our destination is successful. Until that point, it’s really not possible to totally relax and let go. There are a lot of the little things to be done before departing: cleaning up the odds and ends at work, watering houseplants, clearing out the post office box, making sure that house and dog are being cared for and attended to. You tell the neighbors not to panic when they see strange people staying at the house, and to please take advantage of the spoils of the garden, before things actually spoil. Vacation prep is work; and you hope that you’ve remembered it all. Which of course, you haven’t, but once that car pulls away and gets far enough down the road, you hit that point of no return, where you realize you can replace the non-essentials, but the essential–vacation–is in front of you.
Now that arrival has gone smoothly, and we’ve stocked the condo with wine and food and beer and sunblock and rum and wifi, ….and wine, I’m at that point where I no longer have a destination to aim for; what I aim for now is the recharging of the body and the soul. I’ve been running on reserves recently, and I can tell that we were on fumes, so to speak. Getting away, disengaging, unplugging, and getting back in touch with the rhythm and flow of relaxation is really paramount. As I sat down with this cup of coffee, it’s the first time in a while where I’ve felt motivated to blog. Logging in, I realize I have half a dozen blog posts here in various stages of edit but still unpublished, and I know I’ve got “daily posts” to my posterous blog that are still on my phone, and I realize I’ve been running on empty for a while now. When I have nothing in reserves, my creativity is shot. When my creativity is shot, my outlook is bleak.
So I’m feeling the stirrings of ideas and an awakening to my surroundings. Sad that Americans only do this for a week or two at best. When I lived overseas, the Europeans had it right: take the month, take what you need, because of course, people need to get away and recharge. I find I recharge when I get back in touch with nature–sunshine, water, greenery, and beauty in my surroundings. Sometimes I explore that beauty. Sometimes I simply stay in one place and soak it in. Either way, it motivates me and my creativity, and gives my outlook a 180. It reminds me that this is how I want to feel–passionate, creative, open to new possibilities. That’s really what we live for, isn’t it? And that’s really how I want to live my life.
When life you want to live calls, you really need to hear that call. And take a break.