No, not really. It’s more like organized chaos with looming deadline, an imminent release date, and more obligations than you can shake a stick at, to employ a worthy southern idiom. But I dug this piece out of the archives as a reminder that it’s good to slacken the grip a little too, don’t you think?
Recently I ran across a quote: “I live like I’m always on vacation.” Now, the woman quoted was being profiled in a fashion magazine so the piece turned to how she dresses, but I admit I am far more interested in how she lives. I started pondering how I would live if I were always on vacation, and the picture is a seductive one.
1. I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff. In my day-to-day life, the details are what bog me down. On vacations, I move airily through the slowdowns, the breakdowns, the little annoyances because I am on vacation, and to loose my poise would threaten the entire trip, a trip for which I have spent lots of money and raised lots of hope. Mindful of the cost to both my wallet and my peace of mind, I let the little things go and put on a happy face when I have to deal with glitches.
2. I would be nicer. Because I’m on vacation, I’m conscious of being less stressed, and in turn, I’m nicer to everybody, including myself. I release my perfectionism and go with the flow more.
3. I would read more for pleasure. I never take work on a vacation with me, aside from the tiny flash drive that contains my last four novels. And that’s just a safety precaution; I never actually get it near a computer because I stay far, far away from computers when I’m on vacation and I never travel with a laptop. So vacations are my one opportunity to fill my bags with a combination of books I have loved and books I expect to love. (Somehow the Kindle hasn’t changed this at all. Because I had the Kindle battery die on me quite unexpectedly once, I always take a stack of books, usually cozy English mysteries.)
4. I would take more chances. When I travel, I often adopt a more devil-may-care attitude about things. I try new foods, I ignore the voice that natters on in the back of my mind trying to keep me safe and sedate. (You know the voice. She sounds like a prim little spinster and harps at you about eating your vegetables and getting your eight and a half hours of sleep every night.)
5. I would take more pictures. Well, alright, I don’t actually take pictures on vacation, but my husband does, and therefore vacations are documented. Everyday life should be documented too, slices of reality preserved in aspic. I have gotten better about this since I bought a smartphone, but I could improve.