I'm ba-a-a-ack... Did you miss me?
I sailed away on a luxury cruise with a good friend of mine. She was working as a guest teacher aboard the ship, and had an extra bunk in her cabin. After a little persuading, she convinced me to sail off into the sunset with her for a week, leaving me cares, troubles, three kids, three dogs, and husband behind....
So I did. For a week, I felt like I was back in those good ol' post-college years. Hanging out with friends. Few responsibilities. Able to sleep late if I wanted (which I didn't), stay up late when I wanted (which I did), make my own plan for the day with no thought to schedules, lessons, meetings, work, supermarket shopping, laundry... or any of the other myriad things that dominate the day-to-day life we all deal with in the real world.
Vacation. What a concept.
It was a week full of visits to many, many cool bars (Hello? No kids, remember?) both on-board the ship and scattered around the Western Caribbean, as well as visiting and photographing many interesting places and people.
We met people from all over the world, and saw ancient Mayan ruins, beautiful natural vistas and modern kitsch along the lines of giant cement beer bottles atop Mexican bars.
And then, it was over. A toast farewell to the Caribbean, and a plane ride home, to regroup and re-assimilate into the reality that is my life.
For the first week back on Cape Cod, my head was spinning. I felt like I'd been dropped into a blender of lessons and responsibilities that was whirling around me faster than I could run. How did I do this before? I was only gone for a week, but it felt like I'd never catch up.
Now in my second week home, I can see I needed that break from the everyday in order to more fully appreciate what I do have.
I have a family who loves me and needs me, even if it seems like all they want is clean underwear and a ride to the dance. I have a home that needs attention as well, and a lot of dying plants and overgrown weeds that didn't make it onto anyone's list while I was gone, but which I'm happy to take care of now that I'm back. I have a pack of dogs (a pack!) who don't want to let me out of their sight, for fear I might take off again for parts unknown.
Don't get me wrong, vacation is great. The pros really do outweigh the cons while you're on vacation. The re-entry into reality is where it gets a little sticky.
But the swirling craziness that is my daily reality is just as great. It just needs the right perspective.