If I’ve learned anything on my summer vacation, it’s that consistency is key . . . and I’m shitting the bed on this one.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I had a blast on vacation; my family made the annual pilgrimage to the shore, and even though I’m not that avid of a beachgoer (I’m too Slavic for that noise), I would have been content to remain on the sand and near the waves (we quite literally had Shark Week on the entire duration of the trip and I was making no unexpected moves)- anywhere that was not the rumblings and toilings of daily existence.
Coming home from vacation is sort of like coming off a bad hangover; you know what’s about to go down, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. You can only push through and pray you make it to the other side after going through the three unfortunate steps of what Google likes to tell us is the post vacation blues.
The first step of the post vacation blues is the post vacation melancholy itself, a melodramatic step not unlike the innate Catholic guilt, another double whammy for me on the guilt scale, which typically occurs when I’m driving home from the trip.
You largely had fun on vacation, and not wearing makeup for a solid week was the closest to the Divine you’ll ever experience, but the bills are starting to arrive and coworkers at the office are starting to send you anxious texts about neurotic customers and large scale projects that have gone undone.
Your room really should be repainted; it hasn’t been since 2009, and do you even know when it was the last time you went to the dentist? Umm. . .
And your blog. Lord, your blog. There aren’t even words.
All these negative, shouldawouldacoulda thoughts begin to circle around your brain and start to clog up your entire circulatory system, slowing it down to a an aching melancholy as you recall all the things left unfinished in your existence.
Step two, the Re-Entering step, doesn’t usually occur until you’ve walked in the door, made your gravelings and peace offerings to any animals for the atrocity of allowing them to think you orphaned them for seven whole days, and heave your outrageously heavy suitcases and plastic shopping bags with all of your little impulse purchases up to your bedroom to eventually be put away, but not until you absolutely have to.
Once you kick open the door, you realize how much you’ve always sort of hated how you decorated this room, not to mention how you’ve let it go with the dust and the clutter and cat fur everywhere.
And then the apply named third step, The Slap in the Face, does exactly what it’s meant to do: slap you right in the face with a sweaty palm of reality.
“Your vacation is over. You probably will not see the ocean again until next year. You have to go back to work. You have to go back to the gym. You have to finish that book. You have to write that blog post. You now have to worry about weight loss because somehow 7 ice cream sandwiches a day was an acceptable activity while on vacation. You have to eat like a normal person now and not a beached whale even though all you want is pizza for every meal. But most importantly, you have to figure out what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.”
The party’s over. The thoughts sting your brain like a slow, smoldering burn and the walls begin to close in.
Coming home from vacation reminds you of all the things you SHOULD be doing and everything you HAVEN’T been doing but that you WANT to be doing in your normal, every day life, and as I mentioned in my post In Which I Read Very, Very Slowly, this kick in the gut for me is never as strong as when it comes to my reading and writing. I seem to be missing a very important step in the planning process called pacing because I get so far ahead of myself in planning out which books I want to read and what to actually write about for each one. And as a result, as one would imagine, my production suffers, falling prey to important activities like napping and playing Pokemon.
But I think what will probably solve this internal crisis is the aforementioned skill of consistency. If I can be trained to remember to brush my teeth everyday, I can probably train myself to finish 1-2 books a week. If I can be trained not to eat strange food I find places, the probability of increasing my writing blog post to at least once a week is quite high.
Vacation’s are absolutely lovely, and sometimes they’re all we need to remind ourselves of what we truly want to be doing with our time, even if it means having to scrub the entire bed every once in a blue moon.