We just spent the last five days at Wrightsville Beach. We had a series of small victories:
Five days on the beach with four adults and five kids, and nobody got severely sunburned. (Well, Aidan got some raccoon-rings under his eyes where he rubbed away the sunscreen, but that had already faded before we even got home.)
Janet scheduled a free day to pack before we left, so she didn't drive herself crazy trying to get everything ready to go.
Both Janet and her sister-in-law Heather are plan-for-everything packers, so between the two of them we lacked for nothing.
The hotel did not have internet access, which was probably a good thing. I had not planned on an unwired vacation, but it wound up being that way. Instead of whiling away my evening hours with my usual techno-geekdom, I read. By the end of the vacation I decided I wasn't reading nearly enough in my ordinary life. Marsha Norman and J.D. Salinger were right: reading is the raw material for writing.
We didn't lose anything. No frantic dashes back to the hotel to find a missing teddy bear or wallet or camera. The only casualty for the trip were my clip-on sunshades, which are now sleeping with the fishes. I needed new glasses anyway.
I planned for a couple free days after we returned, so I could properly recover and do the around-the-house things that needed doing.
I didn't think about work, nor was there any work that needed thinking about. Gosh, what a difference a lack of dread makes.
I normally suffer from vacation anxiety â€“ a free-floating sense of purposelessness and vague discontent that plagues me when I'm removed from my normal environment for no discernable reason. But for some reason, I felt no desire to accomplish anything, nor any sense of "time wasted." I'm told that's what vacations are for: to settle into oneself, to find repose apart from all our patterns. So I got that goin' for me.