Vacation Neuroses: An Inner Dialog

If I take a vacation but don’t SAY it’s a vacation, or at least if I spend some portion of that vacation worrying about non-vacation things, then I don’t feel like I SHOULD be worrying about the fact that I’m on vacation when I SHOULDN’T be vacationing. This really isn’t a vacation, or a staycation, or a working vacation-like…thing. I’m not here willingly, or knowingly. When I get back, I may be confused about WHAT just happened. I may also be confused WHILE it’s happening.

Also, if I take a vacation and SAY it’s a vacation and really GO on vacation, then people will think I CAN take vacations, and also that THEY can take vacations, and neither one is good because truly being able to be ON vacation means people don’t need you to NOT be on vacation. I CAN’T really take a vacation, for various reasons having to do with demand for my presence, my admirable orientation toward diligence, and my inescapable lifestyle plight.

In this way, the FIRST few days of a vacation can be relatively vacation-like, whereas the LAST few tend to be consumed with the idea that the vacation is ENDING (even though it never began) and, to some extent it was a REAL vacation, from which I may well return to some unforgiving evidence that I should NOT have taken a vacation OR (worse yet!) that I am perfectly free to go on vacations whenever I want. Except that the promise of my NEXT vacation seems oh, so tragically distant.

It’s also possible that by the end of my vacation I will NOT feel like I was ever on vacation at all, which is where I will get the idea that “I need a vacation after that vacation”.  And even if I DON’T get that idea, I would do well to express that to the people who have NOT just returned from vacation, in order to impress upon them that I can’t readily TAKE vacations, and that we are ALL in this vacation neuroses together. Other people are LUCKY they did not just have a vacation! Even after a 3-day weekend, I would do well to say “I could use another 3 days to recover from those 3”. Or I might just say “it was great” and into this void will either go everyone else’s tortuous assumption that of COURSE it couldn’t have been great and he’s just sparing me the tortuous details, OR how in the world do you manage to ENJOY these vacation-like periods (or at least that confusing segue period from vacation back into non-vacation time)?

I would do well to remember that vacation is a state of mind, and it may be that the simple act of not calling it a vacation will help travel me there without all the baggage.

Other solutions include: 1) retirement, or 2) becoming a citizen of most European countries.

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~ by joshuakelly on December 21, 2010.

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