Sunday, August 17, 2008

Re-Entry into the Atmosphere of Real Life

Coming home from vacation can feel a bit like returning from a trip to the moon. Life as you know it has been lived in an entirely different way and suddenly you’re back and expected to fall immediately into the old rhythm.

On vacation time has an entirely different meaning- because you may be in another time zone and your days are now nights, or simply because the way you spend it is so varied from your routine. I always seem to adjust to time changes in a new country pretty easily but jet lag knocks my socks off when I come home.

As you begin your morning back home you wonder what that awful shrieking is and slowly realize it is the pugnacious alarm clock that you didn’t bring along and haven’t missed. Waking to the soft waves breaking on the sand (then going back to sleep) is much superior to this demanding alternative!

Full reality sets in—you’re ba-ack— when you actually look at the clock and realize you have two and a half minutes to shower, get dressed, choke down a boiled egg and run for your car. (In my case the car will be hot, so I opt out of makeup knowing it will be melted by the end of my short drive to work)

Wasn’t it just yesterday you were savoring a hot cup of coffee on the patio in your jammies with a blanket around your shoulders? Your brain was allowed to ease into a wakeful state instead of being slammed into “go”…note to self, maybe getting up a little earlier wouldn’t hurt. And there was time to read the Bible and the newspaper and even have a little peaceful tate`-a-tate` with God instead of alternating a favorite worship song with Fox News and asking God to help navigate traffic.

Breakfast isn’t the only meal difference. On vacation you might be on a quest for great calamari (or like me, the best cheeseburger at the beach). Back on “earth” you eat lunch at the same places, order the same items off the same menus and count every gram of anything they deem important enough to publish.

“Exercise” on vacation holds different meaning to different people. Some love to jog, bicycle, or take a brisk walk every day. Others find a sport to keep them active; a little surfing, sand volleyball or beach softball keeps them feeling good. Still others opt to limit their activity to lifting a book, then a glass of wine (rest and repeat). At home the gym is glaring at us like an unseen eye; an appointment that can’t be missed for fear of the terrible consequences.

OK, this sounds like life at home is nearly unbearable and we all know how good we truly have it. I love my life and wouldn’t change any of it (except to remember to slow down a bit). But that first day-or even week- of “re-entry” into the atmosphere of our real life is always a little shock to the system and requires adapting to the environment.

As always, I loved my time away at the beach, but to be honest I’m tired of eating great cheeseburgers in mass quantities, waiting for the sunset as exciting entertainment and my rear end is a little sore from all that bike riding. I’m glad to be home, sleeping in my own bed. Re-entry is a success.

Have you had “re-entry” challenges this year? Please post a comment. And just FYI the best burger can be found at Hodads in Ocean Beach, California!
Diane Markins


Anonymous said...

This summer after vacation...... I needed a vacation. Anyone ever had a vacation like that?

Paula said...

I know that feeling well. Sometimes if a real rest is needed, a vacation at home is the best idea! Don't get me wrong I still wish I could afford to go away more often...
You have a great blog Diane and thanks for visiting mine.
Reflections Under The Bodhi Tree