I’m good at taking breaks. Sometimes, I’m even wondering if I’m too good at taking breaks. Not today, though. This may sound absurd, but today, first day at home after vacation, I feel it would be really beneficial to push the pause button. I’ve been away for three weeks. In the raw and beautiful north of Sweden, in the land of the midnight sun.
We had amazing weather. Not unpredictable, as usual, but two weeks of sunshine. We went to the beach (!), we enjoyed time with friends and relatives, ate ice cream. I did some evening bike tours along the river, to get alone time. Took some beautiful pictures. I mostly felt “not enough” to meet everyone’s expectations, including my own – as we all know expectations are high during precious weeks of free time. It wasn’t easy. And it was great. With moments of deep connection. It was intense. Partly, because some of the most rewarding moments were preceded by difficult ones. Partly, because some difficult moments weren’t followed by relief and easy connection.
It is easy to forget that vacation time reasonably includes ups and downs just like every day life does, and also comprises all the emotional elements we usually experience, and the same headaches, too. It doesn’t even feel improbable that we experience them at a heightened level – considering our high expectation, desire, and maybe even pressure to enjoy ourselves and feel absolutely fabulous, all the time. I’m sharing my experience, because while this is probably true for other people, too, it’s so easy to forget; especially if I’m comparing my inner experience with other people’s fabulous holiday pictures on facebook, etc. I love it that we usually only remember the good stuff afterwards. If I’d remember beforehand though, that I’m actually taking life with me on vacation, maybe I could enjoy myself even more.
When leaving home for a few days or weeks, I say that I’m leaving to “wash my eyes”, that is to get some new perspectives and to see things afresh on return. I did that. Even after three days of driving, by opening our apartment door yesterday night, I felt a wave of inspiration and even an eagerness to get going on unfinished projects. And so I did.
But wait. As much as going on vacation was a well needed pause from everyday life, and I’m rewarded by seeing things at home with new eyes, my mind feels like a hastily packed suitcase, full with pictures, impressions, conversations, and experiences that need to be sorted through, processed, and some of them treasured. Letting that happen requires QUIET TIME. A number of deep breaths. A PAUSE.
Better sooner than later – because unpacking a suitcase that’s been standing unattended in a corner for weeks, isn’t that much fun, isn’t it?