Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Every time I go on vacation or take any kind of extended time off work, I always have to undergo a certain amount of re-entry trauma. The transition from vacation-brain to real life-brain is sometimes not the easiest in the world, but you know, you can't stay on vacation forever. And really, who would want to? The reason that it's called a vacation (literally, from the Latin "vacare" which means "to be empty, void or free") is because it's not real life. While being on vacation was fun and not having to go into work was nice as well, there is something reassuring about routine and schedules and responsibilities. I think that even if I were independently wealthy, I'd find some way to work that into my life.

This time around has been the easiest re-entry I've ever done. I think part of the reason for that was because the vacation was SO different from what I do on a day-to-day basis. Coming back to the familiar and comfortable just felt right, even though all the problems and issues and what not that were present in my life when I left on vacation had not magically resolved. To expect that would be the height of naivete.

What this vacation did for me, in hindsight, was to help ramp me down from what was really an unsustainable level of overfunctioning and anxiety. When you get right down to it, I just needed to be rebooted, and I think the trip did just that. It was exhausting at times, and right around the time we left L.A., I was suffering from some serious vacation fatigue (give me my own bed damn it!) but surprisingly, upon arriving home - even after driving 14+ hours the last day - I did not feel like I needed a vacation from my vacation.

I did learn a few other things as well.

1) You can drive over 4000 miles around the country and NOT meet an untimely demise.
2) Space Mountain at Disneyland is worth a 2 hour wait in line.
3) L.A. is SO not the Midwest. I enjoyed it, but I am really and truly an Iowa boy.
4) Hollywood was more congested than Manhattan the night we were there (both from a traffic and pedestrian standpoint).
5) There is no such thing as cruise control when driving in the mountains.
6) I-70 between Glenwood Springs and Denver is a modern engineering marvel.

I worked yesterday but had today off (the one day stretch did me in) and while today was not as productive as I would have liked, I'll take what I can get.


John said...

I felt the exact same way about my London trip. While I had an amazing time, it was so much overload for the brain that I got back and was glad to be home. Loved the trip, but "reboot" was a great way to describe it. So I get it completely.

Dan said...

Too true - I can imagine that an overseas trip would be kind of what we did only times 10.

I'm just going to try to sustain the Zen for as long as possible.