Our vacation starts one week from today. I have been anticipating it for months now, and I sometimes worry that is the best part of the vacation. When a vacation exists only in the future, it is free from the bounds of reality. Everything that I imagine is carefree, and relaxing. In reality, that isn’t usually the case.
We try to get about three weeks in December if we can. Three weeks is a long time, but is goes by surprisingly fast. Why is it that vacations seem to go by faster than any other time? Is it the old saw “time flies when you’re having fun” in action? Three weeks is long enough for me to forget what day of the week it is, and any vacation on which I can forget the day of the week is a successful one for me.
Each year, as I daydream about our upcoming winter vacation, I tell myself that this time, I am not going to think about how much time remains in the vacation. I will only think about what I am doing on that day, and not worry about tomorrow. Each year, however, I glumly note the passing of the halfway mark (Christmas Eve). After that, I can’t help remind myself that there are “only seven days left.”
One thing I am good at is not worrying about what is happening back at the office. I go on vacation in part to get away from the stress and strain of the day job. I might peek at email a few times, but I generally try to avoid it.
I read somewhere that one way of maintaining a lower stress level is to always plan more than one vacation ahead. We have done this for years, but right now, we have a kind of embarras de riche of upcoming vacations. We begin our winter vacation in a week. In the spring, we are planning to return to Florida again for spring break. Mid-summer, we are planning a big family gathering in New England. And we are already beginning to talk about our next winter vacation.
I think this works. Knowing that we have another vacation coming up in a few months gives us something to look forward to, something to daydream about when the stresses of work and the day start to get to us.
But one step at a time. I’ve got to get through one more week. I keep looking for little tricks and gimmicks to skip through the week and make it go by faster. The weekend is only two days away. Once the weekend is over, it is only three more work days before vacation. But really, I should slow down and enjoy the vacation anticipation. A vacation is never so perfect as it is in your mind before you leave the house. Still, this time, next Thursday, we’ll be on our way. Our vacation will have started.
Vacation anticipation is delightful, but a little sad, too. Just four weeks from today, and I’ll be back in the office.