Today, June 21st, marks the 2013 Summer Solstice; that’s a fancy way of saying the start of summertime. With this longest day of the year, comes the beginning of the school break, lazy backyard afternoons, pool parties, sunburn, baseball, mosquitoes, and of course, vacations.
I took a college course one time on “urban planning and citiesas an environment.” No, I have no idea why; easy elective I guess. I was living in Saint Petersburg, Florida at the time, a mere two hundred yards from the Intracoastal and the bridge to the beaches. One topic of the class was “vacation mentality” and the difference between our regular lives and our recreation lives. It was an interesting exercise discussing the leisured attractions that surrounded us while we were busy supporting a family, earning a living, paying bills/taxes/tuition, and fighting with the horrendous Pinellas County traffic.
When my tolerance for the good Florida lifestyle reached its breaking point, I moved from one tourist destination to another, here in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. I vowed that this time life would be different, and to a point it is. I restructured my priorities and my consumptive tendencies and am finally able to live a much less stressful life, work from home, and even enjoy the smell of roses once in a while (actually, I just planted them this spring -- so, no blooms to smell yet).
Even with fewer stressors to battle each day, I still can feel the difference between vacation and work. Last week I was in the bathroom preparing to get in the shower, I looked at the Jacuzzi tub and thought, “We’ve been in this house for nine months, I ought to try that thing sometime.” I didn’t, I needed to get washed, dressed and start my workday. It brought to mind some friends of ours (NOTE: ours is a reference to BOTH me and my wife -- there Shirle, I mentioned you in the blog again) and how after they had followed us here from the Humid Peninsula of Palmetto Bugs, they built a log cabin high on a mountain top. It was purposefully designed with a two seat Jacuzzi in their master suite because whenever they came to the mountains on vacation, they always took baths together. From what I understand, in the six years they’ve lived here, a double occupancy has yet to be tried. By the way, they are retired and financially comfortable, so work is not the obstacle; it’s the mindset.
There really should be some way to meet in the middle; to live and vacation simultaneously. Shirle (two mentions!) has been bugging me about taking some long weekends and getting away for some leisure time. People from all over the world come HERE to do that, and she wants to get away. Mindset!
I don’t have the answer, so I’m open for suggestions if you have any. In the meantime, have a happy, safe, relaxed summer and take a vacation!
Now to get back to work…