a beach chair for me and one for my emotional baggage, please

I read recently that it’s medically necessary to take vacations. Not that I needed to read that to know it. There’s a reason even the most unreasonable tightwad companies give their employees vacation time – people need to unwind and refresh, or they end up as miserable stressballs incapable of producing worthwhile work. The problem is that vacations also turn me into a miserable stressball because I’m so busy worrying about what’s waiting for me when I get back.

I took a really good vacation in 1998. Ireland. One week. It was awesome. It was beautiful and it was fun and it was the perfect combination of educational and relaxing and drunken debauchery. And when I came home I was depressed for a week. Like, literally, cripplingly depressed. I did not eat anything but bread and cheese because it reminded me of Ireland. I was so unhappy to be back I thought I wasn’t going to be able to survive it.

Since then I have taken four vacations. A trip to the Keys. A one-week cruise to Hawaii. Another long weekend in the Keys. And my honeymoon, a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. But see, I learned my lesson after that Ireland vacation – don’t let your guard down and relax too much. As long as you can keep the anxiety and sense of day-to-day misery with you, it won’t be such a hard crashdown when you return. However. This sort of defeats the purpose of a vacation. To the point now where I just don’t take them. Because why? I might as well spend my money on something I can use.

I do recognize how messed up this is. I’m just not sure what to do about it. I know that I need, more than anything in the world, a week on a beach someplace, with fruity drinks and hammocks and blue water. BUT. I also need to be able to let go of the anxiety while I’m there, and eliminate the depression when I get back.

Any suggestions for a beachfront condo with a lobotomy?

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One response to “a beach chair for me and one for my emotional baggage, please

  1. Have you read or seen “Eat. Pray. Love.”? It’s mediocre on both counts (book was better than the movie, as expected), but there’s this one part where the Italian people are talking about Americans and how we don’t know how to relax. They had this Italian phrase that meant “the joy of doing nothing”. I think they may be onto something.

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