How to Take a Vacation (Hint: Check the Guilt)

It’s been years since I’ve taken a vacation. I mean a vacation when you go somewhere with the intention of having no intention but to lay-about, eat and sleep – maybe a beach is involved. I seem to have lost the knack.

This is the last of 5 days off in a row — and other than a doctor visit, I had nothing planned. A de facto vacation, right? I spent my days mostly doing what I always think I want to do when I’m longing for time off: reading, napping in the middle of the day, and… I don’t remember what else…

That’s what is disconcerting. I feel a little bit like I wasted my time off, that I should have accomplished something. Written something brilliant or finished painting the house, cleaned out the garage, that sort of thing. I can blame the weather a little. The first day was oven-hot so I hunkered down inside with air-conditioning and made a half-hearted attempt at cleaning before picking up a book. I read and then, fell asleep sprawled on the couch. Thursday and Friday were rainy and cold. Perfect excuse to read and nap. I did splurge on a facial and went to the first physical I’ve had in years. (perfect, thank you very much)

Yesterday, the clouds parted, the temperature dropped and a spectacular day gave me no excuses. I did mow the lawn. Then lethargy hit again and I napped between reading the New York Times (the joys of home delivery – you get a head start on Sunday’s paper.) It was too cool to kayak. Anyway, we didn’t. Maybe today.

Sounds like an ideal vacation, doesn’t it? So why this gnawing guilt that I didn’t get anything done? Piles of papers I should have sorted, weeds still entrenched, dust-bunnies multiplying like live ones. I’ve barely written a word, no visits with friends, no yoga classes or gourmet meals. Tomorrow, I am back to work – to carving the things I want to do from the things I must do out of the time that remains after 40 plus hours at my job.

Tucked in my wallet is a lottery ticket – to feed my fantasy that were I to win, I’d figure out what to do with all that time to myself. Or at least, how to take a guilt-free vacation. At a very distant beach.


One thought on “How to Take a Vacation (Hint: Check the Guilt)”

  1. That sounds like the perfect vacation to me. Besides, taking a vacation is such a big pressure. You have to have this really great time to justify spending all the money. And, as they say, isn’t your health everything? And sounds like you’re in perfect health.

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