Wednesday has come and gone. I’ve officially reached that point where I start counting down how many days are left of my vacation before returning to the office. I now have two days left of the workweek and time is slipping through my hands faster than I can rip open the cellophane packaging on my breakfast Pop-Tarts.
I was thinking that just about now is when I’ve finally hit my stride in vacation relaxation. It’s taken me three whole work days to slough off the duties and responsibilities that come with being gainfully employed in a full-time job. Three days of not having to attend meetings, sign-on to SAP or have my lunch at 11:30am to avoid the crowd in the cafeteria. Three days free of tedious commuting and wearing dress pants with sensible shoes.
Instead, I’ve managed to make waffles from scratch three days in a row and lazily eat them while watching the final season of Felicity on DVD. I’ve been able to surf the ‘net aimlessly for hours without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else and I’ve managed to give our lawn its first mow of the season. I’ve taken afternoon naps that would put kittens to shame and I’ve also managed to have Domino’s pizza delivered to my house within 30 minutes of placing an order only to discover that answering the door in pink polka-dotted pajamas with mussed up hair is probably not the best way to greet the impressionable delivery guy.
But the thing that is most difficult to comes to terms with is all the stuff I thought I’d be doing on this vacation that didn’t even come close to happening. Why is it that my best vacation ideas come to me while driving to work and those very same ideas become small and unattainable by the time I’m on vacation? I didn’t make it to Maine to visit the Whoopie Pie shop. I didn’t go up to Burlington, Vermont for an overnight stay and we didn’t take Minnie on that amazing walk in Rutland State Park.
I think there are two types of vacations. The first type of vacation is purposeful and motivated. It’s the sort of vacation the involves airplane tickets, luggage, digital cameras and someone being paid to make my bed with fresh linen and replace the only-once used soap in the shower with new bars of soap.
The second type of vacation is lazy and intimidating. It’s the sort of vacation where you start off keeping track of the nine days (including weekends before/after the vacation) you have in front of you to do anything you want and you end up doing nothing of consequence. You use the time to get the car inspected, balance your checkbook properly and catch up on all the TV shows you saved on your DVR. If you’re really ambitious, you just might read the whole issue of ‘O’ by week’s end. Yet as each day passes, you feel that subtle tightening in your chest when you pass by your hanging wall calendar because you know deep down inside that the vacation is going to be over before you know it and there is nothing you can do to slow down time.
When I return to work on Monday, I’ll be asked by my co-workers if I had a good vacation. I’ll feel the need to share a glamorous adventure had in another state or tell them about something amazing I discovered that was within fifty miles of my home. It’s beats the truth of my actual vacation. Somehow I don’t think they would be so impressed with my week of vacation if I showed them my freshly-shaven and moisturized legs and told them how I had the best time driving through the Primrose car wash last Thursday.
I think I put way too much pressure on myself. If I don’t watch out, I’ll need another vacation.