The Problem with Vacations

3 07 2010

This past week my family went on a 3 day vacation to the Oregon Coast. And it was a wonderful time! The girls got their first visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where the eldest daughter got a great ball cap that has dancing cows on it and says “Dances With Cows”, we kamped at the KOA in Astoria, visited Seaside, even though it was raining that day, and was able to visit Ft. Clatsop. Even did the “Goonies” self guided tour and saw the house in Astoria.

The day before going we were well prepared for conditions but rain, and I got to the point of wanting to go home because it was getting so wet. But this is Oregon and that is part of the vacation experience. It seems that we always are forgetting things that we need and unlike other places, the coast has what we need.

So, I can hear you saying “Sounds like you had a great trip, so what is the problem?” The problem is that we has to come home. We had to stop being in a simple way and come home to the mess and “stuff” and the junk!

I have always had a problem with the vacation thing. I love going on vacation, but I hate coming home.

Growing up, the annual trip to the beach, usually for Spring Break or late summer, was something that I treasured as a child. We did the hotel version and now I much prefer the Kamp or even regular tent camping. My childhood was one of arguing parents and that the only time the fights didn’t happen were on vacation. I hated to come home because that was where the “bad” life happened.

Even today, I found myself crying again, yes tears and everything, fearing that we had to come home. I didn’t want to drive clear down to Tillamook again, though I wished to stop at some beaches along the way, but I could tell we all were ready to come home, and yet we didn’t want to be at home.

We had limited internet access, thanks to the wife’s cell phone during the trip. I really did enjoy not having a computer or Apple laptop around. We ineteracted more with each other and said more “I love you’s” than we have in a long time. But now I sit on the couch writing this post with the laptop, they youngest and oldest girls are playing on the internet at the PC and the wife and middle child are to the store to get flea killer (the cat stayed inside even with flea kill on her and she kinda freaked out at some point).

Life is back to “normal”. I don’t want normal anymore. I’m sick of “jobs” and having to “make money”. I’m sick of having to fit a mold that should not be. Perhaps I’m just reaching a mid life crisis, but it doesn’t feel like one.
I’ve come to understand that life is not done the way it should be done and we are to just accept the reality that is around us. As Adam Smith of Mythbusters says, ” I reject your reality!”

We were not made for vacations and we were not made for “work”.

While on this trip, I started to re-read “Jesus For President” by Shaine Clairborne. The talk of Emprie and how our governments of the world act and how we just let them go on and that we don’t really believe in a “Kingdom of God” has made our lives a joke. Shaine points out that God loves to “camp”. The idea of a movable tent for God to be present in makes much more sense. This can explain a guy’s wanderlust too. Perhaps we really are not meant to “settle down” in one place. The Bible stories show how we move from place to place with no where to “rest the head”.

So I continue to have a problem with returning from vacation. I have a feeling that it is built into all of us. Some have been able to cope and overcome this feeling. I long for the day when work and vacation are gone. That our play and work become one.

My wife, half joking when we passed through Rockaway on Hwy. 101, said that “When we retire, you should apply for transfer to the First Student yard in Rockaway!” I like the sound of that. I would like to be a local on the Oregon Coast, but I think my liberal views would be like putting a hot coal into a bucket of cold water! Yet this feels right.

I would love to be on permanent “vacation” where everyday, even with work feels like play. I hope to get there. For now, I am home. I am aware that I will slip back and have to fight for every step to stay in the mode that will keep peace and happiness in the home. Or perhaps I need to surrender to my fears and doubts and start over again tomorrow feeling refreshed and loved.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Life is good, no matter what. Vacations are good. Remembering that life is what every experience is about, fantastic!

(I still don’t like coming back from a vacation, but I’m aware that is just me.)

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