Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vacation Mind, Worker's Mind

Well, I've been home since Thursday and have resisted the temptation to blog until today, giving myself further time off.

While I felt the urge to write while we were away, I felt a much stronger competing urge to do less rather than more. Blogging and writing have become, to some extent, something I feel I "should" do, as well as something that I enjoy and thrive upon. Knowing the difference between the two is crucial, and continues to be a challenge for me.

Aside from connecting with family and relaxing, time away from work was the most important aspect of these last few weeks. It is so easy for work to become the center of one's universe. Most of us spend an average of forty hours per week at work, as well as considerable time spent preparing, commuting, recovering from the workday, and preparing yet again for the subsequent day. Weekends are spent escaping from the travails of employment, pushing thoughts of work to the recesses of the mind, if only for a few hours. It is often an all-encompassing endeavor, and unlike our European brethren, we Americans enjoy an average of only two weeks of vacation per year, as compared to the European average of six weeks of paid "holiday".

Nonetheless, I am grateful for these last two weeks and the unwinding that they allowed me to experience. This being Sunday, thoughts begin to turn towards the morrow, although I will do my utmost to simply enjoy this gorgeous New England day without allowing dread of Monday morning to negatively color my final day of rest and recovery.

Tomorrow, it's back to the working world, refreshed, relaxed, and relatively tan. With my next full week off probably not until the depths of winter, I'll try to savor the effects of "vacation mind" and carry it into the weeks ahead. I may lose sight of this sense of well-being amidst the general tumult of the office, but I can only hope that it will bring some sense of refreshment to my days, if only fleeting. Above all, I give thanks for the privilege that allows me to be gainfully employed, and to experience the well-earned relief of paid vacation and rest.
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