I recently went on vacation, and had a really wonderful time. I did not go a huge distance away, did not fill my days with endless exciting new and different activities. In many respects, I basically did a lot of what I do at home, but I did it on vacation, and hence it was many times easier and more enjoyable. I rented a small housekeeping cabin in the Adirondacks on a tiny lake a little bit north of Saratoga Springs, NY, and arrived there prepared to do most of my own food preparation (only went out for one meal in 5 days), as well as to hunker down and do some work and some studying. I took time every day to go outside and either hike, canoe, or swim, but the vast majority of my time was spent inside, reading, and listening to music. When I am home, the food preparation feels much more tedious; the work reading frequently gets relegated to a time when I am already too tired to keep my eyes open and my attention focused; and even if my client schedule is reasonable, with breaks and time to get things done, it frequently feels like things don’t get done. Then I am off and running in a cycle of getting down on myself, dragging, and getting even less done. So I wonder, what is so different about pulling myself out of my home and basically doing what I would be doing at home anyways, that makes it so much easier to do while away in a cabin on a lake, with barely the creature comforts of home? There is no doubt something to be said for being in a calm quiet secluded and beautiful location. And yet, it is hard to say that that alone is sufficient to have made the difference.
I imagine the so good feeling of a relaxing vacation that is not filled with a lot of excessive busy-ness feels good differently for everyone who is lucky enough to be able to take that time. For me, I do think that isolating a period of time, a space, and limited number of activities takes away some of the bigger overwhelm that happens when I am just home and all of a sudden everything is beckoning, and choosing what comes first becomes so hard that, sometimes anyhow, nothing comes first. September is now upon us. The great outdoors is still warm and welcoming. Schedules re-adjust again as even the world of people who don’t go to school, notice, account for, and accommodate the populations that do. Again, maybe it is my own personal nostalgia, but there is something about the September air that is uniquely inviting. Maybe it feels that way, because I am coming off of what has become my traditional August vacation? Whatever it is, I hope you feel it too, and have a wonderful last of Summer and first of Autumn!