Slices of Life: Finding Your Vacation Mindset
Whether perfectly planned or perfectly spontaneous, vacations are a time of recreation, leisure, adventure and new experiences. Even the word itself is perfectly balanced – with four vowels and four consonants. (I counted.)
Whether short or prolonged, vacations change our state of mind towards everyday concepts. In a way, during the holidays, the regular reality of normal life no longer exists. We are in the vacation zone where normal does not apply.
Consider the weather. We all understand the weather. Monday is often the start of the work week. (Well, except the Monday after the Super Bowl.) We set our alarm clock to wake up on time each morning – often so we can go to work, a very decidedly non-vacation concept. We go to bed at about the same time every night. Saturday and Sunday include weekends. Time is a linear concept that regulates our days and nights.
Unless we’re on vacation.
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So often alarm clocks are unnecessary accessories. We wake up when we have finished sleeping. At our pace. Monday is indistinguishable from Saturday. Both are vacation days filled with freedom and fun! Normal bedtime is for the working world. You are on vacation! Stay awake late. Unplug the alarm clock. Live life on the wild side!
Then think about the money. We can lose a few pennies in the normal week, but during the holidays money flows more freely. We are more likely to eat out, spend money on beaches, theme parks, and tropical destinations. We buy t-shirts, coffee mugs and other keepsakes that we don’t really need and never really use because we’re on vacation and buying a keepsake is fine with us, one way or another, in the moment.
Think about your vacation schedule. It is created with one idea in mind: fun, happiness, pleasure, entertainment, laughter, joy, new experiences, respite, relaxation and possibly a little excess. It’s set up for you to do what you want, when you want. If you’ve been planning on going to the beach, but wake up feeling the vibe of a theme park, go for the vibe. If you wake up feeling something completely different – something that isn’t even on your vacation “schedule”, it’s your turn to take it.
Think about the diet. Food is a four letter word in normal life. During the holidays, that does not exist. Counting points, calories, or carbohydrates is not a normal vacation. Eat is! And often we eat what we want, when we want because it’s supposed to be like that during those glorious seven days that we call the holidays.
Think about the photos. We tend to take more photos while on vacation than during our normal life. We gather for group selfies and smile in front of wacky monuments, mountains or statues because we understand that it’s about the best it can be – being here with the people we love, doing the things we love. . So we try to capture the moment and keep it as a memory, a visual, forever. And when we look back, we’ll understand that our smiles were more than smiles. We weren’t just smiling; we were beaming. We radiated the joy of the experience.
The holidays change things. We spend money more freely. We enjoy the freedom with time, schedules, food, drink and activities. We take more pictures because we want to and we can. We focus on having fun – seven to 14 days a year. We are waiting for these days. We look forward to them and the attitude that the holidays bring with them.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to extend the vacation mode point of view? (Sign me up!)
Consider this: We don’t have to be officially on vacation to harness the vacation mood. Oh sure, we might have to set the alarm and get to work on time. But the attitude and outlook can stay within the framework of the holidays. We can keep it real while still keeping it fun and vacay-tastic. If vacations are better than everyday, why not make every day feel like a vacation? Why not do it the best you can, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
It’s tempting, isn’t it?
Let it be more than tempting. Live it. From now on. Go ahead, go ahead.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning union columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.