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Vacation: Have to Get Away

Jen here:

I love vacation, don’t you? There’s something about the idea of getting out of town and letting everything fall away, not having to worry about anything.

Well, it’s a nice idea. My vacations don’t look like that. And yours probably don’t either. It’s a lot of work to prep for the vacation and then dealing with the laundry and piled up mail and work when you get back. And even on my vacation, I generally still need to feed my family. Which, with four teen boys, is a lot of work. Most of the time, I still need to keep my email inbox under control, and I’ve had to write on all of my trips this summer. Not to mention, I’m always researching everywhere we go, looking for stories. I love that part, so it doesn’t feel like work. But I don’t spend much time laying on a beach doing nothing.

Refresh for efficiency

Even though it can be a lot of work to carve out space for a vacation, it’s still worthwhile. As Diana said in her post about sharpening the saw, we need to refresh ourselves so we can work more effectively. In one of our Pencildancer video conferences, we were talking about how to take care of ourselves on this marathon writing journey. And even though taking time out to do things that feel refreshing or like pampering might seem to slow us down, it actually makes us more efficient. That time of refreshment makes us more efficient and more effective when we get back to work.

Change your view

The other thing that is great about vacations is you get a change of scenery. This by itself is refreshing. It’s great just to look at something different. It activates different parts of your brain. If you are an endless researcher like I am, you imagine what it was like for the people that first settled this area. Or you wonder about the people who currently live there. It’s fresh fodder for your brain. It can give your creativity a shot in the arm.

Staycations work too

Many years, when I was a single parent, I didn’t have the ability to take a vacation. But what I would do was mark time off to do things locally with my kids that we normally didn’t do. Going to the zoo, taking a local train ride, going to the lake, canoeing down the river, making recipes that normally would be too complicated, like pizza or pretzels from scratch. It was about breaking out of routine, spending time together, and making memories.

Whatever the season of your life, create space on a regular basis to get away in some form. Your life and your creativity will benefit.

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