The Last Day of Vacation

Today is our last day in the Upper Peninsula, and we are sad it's almost over! (Do you know what the Upper Peninsula is? Turns out a lot of people don't! Read more about it here and here.)

Heading down to the bonfire. Look at that sunset! Look at that lake! Omigah.

Vacation is so glorious for so many reasons (obviously). You wear whatever you want, you eat and drink whatever you want, you sleep as late as you want (unless you're my sister with a two year old), and you do whatever you want. You see emails come in from co-workers and you're like, "Oh geez, that doesn't look like a fun situation. Gooooood luck!"

It's absolutely wonderful.

And then the last day you start having those thoughts like, "Oh no, it's almost over. I've been waiting so long for this, and now it's almost done. I had such a marvelous time. Why can't it always be like this? Why don't I feel this relaxed and calm all the time? I should be this happy every day. What's wrong with me? What's wrong with my life, that I can't achieve this all the time? I've got to change something!"

At least I do (because I'm an anxiety-prone nut job). But you know what? That's just silly. It really is.

I love the idea of striving for the calm, relaxed, happy feeling of vacation all the time, but I am also a realist who knows that I have a job and I have responsibilities and some days I am gonna have to do things I don't like to do. And that's OK - you have to spend Saturday cleaning the house so you can be ready for the big party Sunday.

Besides, lolling about in my pajamas on the screened-in porch and sleeping on the beach gets old at some point, right? Right? (After a month it might, right?) At the very least my health certainly could not sustain the amount of cookies and potatoes and bread I'm eating right now. I'll tell you what.

I guess what I'm trying to say is - let's stop beating ourselves up for not feeling like we're on vacation all the time. That's impossible. But what IS possible is trying to give yourself that feeling of vacation a little bit more, in your daily life, instead of saving it up for once or twice a year. Why don't we strive for that?

The best example is my mom and step dad. Until recently, they lived their whole lives in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, in the city, running their own advertising agency, working hard to raise four kids and put them through college, spending every weekend at sports activities and doing repairs to our hundred year old house (or at least trying to get the mice and bats out). And around seven years ago, they thought - hey, this was fun, but it's time to switch this up. We don't have to do this anymore. We can do whatever we want.

They built a house on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. They told all their clients that they would be able to support them digitally from afar - and they have. They got a dog. They've always been healthy, but they got even healthier. They started hiking daily. They cook more. They lost weight. They read regularly. Sometimes they get snowed in, but then they work in their pajamas. My step dad started writing books. My mom is starting an Etsy store for her sewing creations.

My mom said she was just tired of waiting to retire to enjoy everything. So now she's redefined her life to incorporate what she loves in the day to day. Isn't that just great?

Now don't get me wrong - they still work very hard. By no means is every day a vacation day. But from 7:30a-8:30a when my step dad walks his Labrador along the beach...or from 7-8p when my mom reads her book on the porch and watches the sun set...I think they feel it. I think they feel that little twinge of vacation that we all know and love. And long for!

So coming out of this vacation, I have a resolution...not to always feel like I'm on vacation. But to feel like it more in the day to day.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Happy times on the Au Train Bay beach.