The first day of vacation often makes many people wonder if it’s worth it.
After all, most folks pack about a week’s worth of work into the last day in the office before the 1st first day of vacation and THEN go home to tighten up the house, pack suitcases, confirm travel plans . . . which invariably results in an “all-nighter” thereby creating a very tired and grumpy family on that 1st day (a travel day) of vacation.
There’s also Murphy whose law requires a VERY inconvenient EMERGENCY just prior to leaving on any long anticipated vacation. For us, these emergencies include things like 5 year old daughter swallowing a quarter as we were packing the car to leaving resulting in a 3 hour hospital visit (swallowing a quarter can be deadly) and then having to examine her poops for the first few days of vacation to confirm the passing of said quarter (We were never able to confirm it actually exited her body, but she’s 17 now, so it must have passed.
Of course when there’s so much to do in so little time, we can all display our super-human capabilities and sometimes marvel at the amount of work we complete under such pressure. If only we could be this efficient and effective all the time?
Any way you slice it, it’s EXHAUSTING and detrimental to the attainment of the goal to leave it all behind and RELAX. Most folks report that it takes a full 3 days after arriving at the destination to unwind enough to find that relaxed feeling, so day 1 is travel (NOT relaxing) . . . If the vacation is 7 days, and day 7 is also a travel day, this leaves 3 days to unwind and only 2 days to relax?
I’ve decided to cheat with a travel formula that blows the doors off this resignation of most people that it just is what it is and always will be – The myth that the beginning of EVERY vacation MUST be frenetic mayhem.
I schedule a DAY OFF on the 1st day of vacation – Usually Saturday – and travel on Sunday. Friday, I’ve just gotta tighten up the work stuff and can relax that night because I know I have the whole next day to take care of the house and pack the bags.
Travel out early but not too early on travel day . . . 9ish is about perfect so as to be able to get a relaxing start . . . Arriving mid to late afternoon (Assuming it’s less than an 8 hour drive or flight).
Enjoy 5 full days “on the ground” and travel back on day 6 (Saturday) in the afternoon to arrive home @ supper time . . .
Sunday is a day off . . . to rewind and prepare for the new week.
Vacations are for recharging . . . and to recharge effectively, we’ve gotta pause our game of busyness in a way that allows us to break our exhaustive GO GO GO patterns long enough to make space for Spiritual, Mental, Physical, Emotional recovery.
As with all things, my wish for everyone is for intentional living . . . a way of living that reduces the need for 24/7/365 BUSY BUSY BUSY . . . and to do this, we must “cheat the system” by building in buffers of time and space within which we can shift gears smoothly.
This is creating space for new ideas and thoughts and energy and VIGOR and Joi de Vivre.
So I hereby invite you to quit thinking of “vacation” and start thinking “Sabbatical” or “Retreat”
(Written on the morning of my day off prior to my own sabbatical with my family :-))