December 19, 2002
For years when I have traveled I have treated the whole experience as something to be done as efficiently and quickly as possible. If I were taking a week off I would arrange my flights in the evening so I could work a full day before going. Then I would return at the last minute, often getting home scant hours before having to return to work. My memory is filled with having to run pell-mell through airports to make connecting flights, and I also remember the stress and upset my tight schedule caused. My focus was always on the physical vacation more than the emotional one.
My wife has a much different approach to vacations and travel. She sets things up so that there is time before and after the trip to relax and enjoy just being off. On travel days there isn't anything else planned so that all energy can be used for the trauma that is modern airplane travel. Her focus is on the emotional vacation more than on the physical one.
In my paradigm emphasis was given to the physical details in a way that made the vacation as stressful emotionally as working. Sure I was gone from work for a period of time but I never got an emotional or spiritual vacation.
Michele's paradigm focused on the emotional and spiritual release and rest a true vacation provides. Minimizing the importance of travel or schedules, her style of vacation actually refreshes and rejuvenates.
We are less than a day away from leaving for 9 days in Hawaii, and the start of 17 days off for me. The past week or two I have started to become more focused on the physical preparations and less focused on the emotional and spiritual side of our trip. This morning I suggested a 3-hour round trip to buy additional luggage so we'd have a complete matching set to take. My focus was entirely on the physical detail of the luggage and not at all on the more important emotional cost that would entail.
To my credit I realized what I was suggesting and backed away from making that the goal of the day. Instead I am now working on making relaxing and enjoying the fruits of our preparations. I want to sit back and let my excitement at having a wonderful holiday cruise come to the fore, I want to let go of the need for schedules and stress and deadlines.
I am going to let myself have, maybe for the first time in my life, a true emotional, spiritual, and physical vacation.