My family is suffering from what I call Post-Vacation Blues. Last week we were on an amazing, tropical vacation filled with friends, fun, excitement and sunshine. This week we’re back to cool temperatures, long commutes, never-ending piles of laundry, errands…you know, the realities of life. It was a vacation that we had anticipated for over a year and now it’s over, and there’s no other vacation in sight. Don’t get me wrong, I love my regular life and I’m happy to be home, but there is a slight longing for the indulgences (housekeeping!) of vacation life.
I’ve heard of people being slightly depressed after a big event, such as a wedding or big trip. I’ve heard that people cope by doing something that reminds them of the event, such as making a photo album, or by thinking through what that event brought to their life that’s now missing. For example, a recent bride might be missing all the time she spent with her bridesmaids during the wedding preparations and so she might make a regular lunch date with them after the wedding is over to keep that connection. It got me thinking about what I could do to bring vacation to my real life.
Treat Myself To New Foods
One of my favorite things about vacation is trying out new foods. Vacation meals are some of my favorite memories (are you surprised? You shouldn’t be!). I’ll never forget trying Bangers and Mash (sausage and potatoes) in London, Bacalhau fish in Lisbon, the Banana Pudding at Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, the most amazing BBQ meal in St. Louis, to name a few. Our most recent vacation included an impressive meal plan and several days we had four-course meals for lunch AND dinner. It was easy to get spoiled. My first trip back to the grocery store was a bit over-and under-whelming, at the same time. What do I do with all of these things? But, as I was walking around the store, I decided to treat myself to a couple new things that I wouldn’t have bought normally. I can try new things at home, too. I went home with a fancy cheese and a bottle of cranberry sparkling wine. And I’m going to treat myself to them, even if it’s on a Monday!
Go On An Excursion
I’m a big advocate for being a Tourist In Your Hometown. There are so many adventures and excursions in our own backyards. As I was feeling glum about being home (boo hoo, no more adventures), it dawned on me that I could find an adventure in less than 20 minutes from my house. Sightseeing = check. A hike in a gorgeous area = check. Zip lines = check. Museums = check. In fact, I might have more options for adventure at home than I did on my vacation!
Enjoy the View
One of my favorite parts of vacation was waking up early and enjoying the beautiful sunrise while sipping my morning cup of coffee. It was relaxing and refreshing. I kept thinking how much I was going to miss this time when I got home. But, then, the first morning back home, I woke up to MY beautiful view – the forest behind our house. It was a chilly morning that required the fireplace and I realized that I already have a beautiful view. It isn’t the beach, but it’s still beautiful.
At home, my internal drill sergeant is always telling me what needs to be taken care of but, amazingly, my drill sergeant goes on vacation when I go on vacation. I have so much grace for others and myself while on I’m vacation. I loosen the reigns on the kids. No vegetables? No problem. Showers? Optional. Spend an hour reading a magazine? Sure! The biggest take-away from our vacation, is that I need to incorporate the vacation me into my real life. I can read magazines even when I’m not on vacation.
I’m beginning to see that you don’t have to separate the two: vacation and real life. In the same way that there were still stressors and “real life” things like laundry on our vacation, there can also be a bit of vacation in our daily life. I’m going to choose to incorporate vacation in my real life.