Today marks the end of the first real vacation in a very long time, and my first adult vacation that I didn’t have children underfoot. It is also my first time off of work of any length since my separation. That little fact is made even more important to me, because the last scheduled time off from work, a long weekend, was the day I made the painful decision to end my marriage.
This has been the most restful nine days I have enjoyed since I was a child, and my parents would load the six of us to Florida for the summer. There we’d eat our grandparents out of house and home, swim in the pool, ride bikes or the pony, and take day excursions to local places like Silver Glen Springs or Ormand Beach. I remember those times quite fondly, well except for a nasty fall off the pony, and one particularly bad sunburn. Vacation time, at least for us was relaxation supreme.
Amazingly for the most part that is what my vacation has been. I had a few things on my to do list, and I did have school work to keep up on, as my vacation didn’t negate the fact that I am taking four classes this summer, but I made sure that slowing down for a spell was highest on my priorities. I took to small excursions, one to Charlotte. I made a quick trip there and back to pick up a new bookcase for my office from Ikea. It now sits, put together and looks great in the space I made for it. On the weekend I went to Tennessee to visit family and to see my youngest brother’s band play.
Sunday after church, my sister and brother in law took my grandmother and I on an impromptu tour around town. We did a bit of visiting and we made a quick passing by of where we all grew up. Our old house looks just a little tired after all these years, but the neighborhood still looked amazingly like it used to. Sure there are a lot of new owners, and changes like trees gone or different fencing shows the passage of time, still even after all this time, I can almost imagine my still living there. Even though I moved away 23 years ago, I still dream of living in our old house.
While I was home this week, I got to really appreciate rest, and the necessity of it. I am usually burning my energy candle on both ends. Not this week. This week, I read, I played, I sat around and did nothing. I took a nap, completed two small “around the house projects”, caught some rays, got ahead on homework, avoided the laundry, and avoided the make-up, hair dryer and work related clothes. It was amazing how much I needed this time.
I’ve had other vacations where I was more tired when I returned then when I left. Yes it was a different recreational type of time spent, we’d take short trips, or spend the time working on a big household project, however I didn’t manage to alleviate my stress levels. I think mostly it was because I never got to be left alone, just me, no one else to look after, spend time with, or entertain, unless I wanted to. I didn’t get to step back and just rest a bit without having to look after something or someone. This time was different, the only person on the agenda was me, and it was glorious. I didn’t play complete, uncommunicative hermit, although it was a bit tempting at times, but I appreciated a stepping back a bit from society and responsibility. Oh how I needed it.
I think everyone needs a bit of time away, literal time away from work, family, duty. Even if we pretty much stay home, and in comfy clothes, that your children would be horrified to learn that we went to the mailbox in, that time is so important, and we don’t do it near enough. We should. Therefore I plan on making such a time in repose much more common in my life. I suspect that a rested, less stressed Sylvie is much more fun to be around.