… The sameness of places and circumstances is different. Not really. Besides potential major twists and turns of relatively stable things or unexpected change that might have transpired in your absence, things are pretty much as they were when you left. But they aren’t, are they? Because you’re different. Moving away from the mundane you get a new outlook, like the frame of a picture widened and you stepped back far enough to get out of your own head and out of your own way.
Upon returns (given that we dedicated our time away to rest and relaxation) our psyche is different, our body and its constantly stress bombarded adrenals had time to recuperate and recharge. We probably spent more time outside than usual, got more sunshine and strengthened our now stress free immune systems by vitamin D. We moved in different ways, slept more calmly without alarm clocks blaring to violently trumpet the beginning of another long day, we soaked our bodies in the mineral rich seas and gave our frontal cortex some down time, not concerning ourselves with any decision larger than what’s for lunch. Upon returns we’re indeed different – body, mind and soul – and therefore the world we return to is subjectively different although its factual margins might have not changed even slightly.
Vacations are an elongated version of taking a walk to clear your head when so many things demand your attention. You just are where you are, in a time bubble designated for nothing more than being in a way that’s most natural to you, doing things at your own leisure and not being as bothered by any anomaly that might peak its head. It may be that we see vacations as a digressing timeline, somehow not part of our real time line and therefore allow ourselves to finally breathe as we stop taking everything so damn seriously. Upon returning, the residue of clarity of thought brought on by experiences of slowing down and feeling calm and unrushed is something we should take as a guide and strive to incorporate in our days in times when we’re moving full steam ahead. Who’s to say we can’t allow ourselves a few hours a week of that vacation space? This “unproductive” exercise will do us more good than it’s truly unproductive siblings such as sitting and worrying or rummaging through the same things for the hundredth time. Vacation is not a physical place so it doesn’t always require going away. Sure, it’s easier to get a new point of view by changing locations, but vacation is a break from the usual, vacating not necessarily a place but a mind-set, and it can be done in mini form in a bath, walking a dog or tending to the garden.
Let go here and there. The world will keep spinning even if we don’t obsess about it at every turn. Things and events will transpire with or without constant meddling. So our takeaway from this break is – calm is taking what the day gives you and enjoying it, storms and sunshine alike. Worry less, be in the moment more as this is the only place you have any real power to affect or change things. All else has passed or is borrowed unguaranteed hypothetical time. Hope you had/will have a chance to get a few weeks of “away” so that upon return you too can rediscover the joy of an ordinary day.