We should be vacationing in the land of the tourist

I’ve been too busy lately to stop and smell the flowers.

Actually, I’ve often forgotten flowers exist. I’m constantly buzzing around, talking to people, snapping photographs, shopping and cleaning my house.

I’m busy, but that makes me no different than many others in this community.

Well, no different from the members of this community that aren’t here on vacation. In my first couple months here, I took a vacation at least once a week. During our lunch hour, my colleague Joy and I would go for walks, visit state parks and frequent the summer-only shops, leaving thoughts of work behind at the office.

I felt like I was on vacation … at least until lunch hour was over.

But things are different these days. Now when Joy and I take our lunch break, we take our work with us. We talk about what we’ll be doing tomorrow and how things are going today.

But no one is to blame about the extinction of the vacation lunch breaks. We’ve lost them because we’re getting more involved in our jobs. And that’s not a bad thing to do, except when those much-needed vacation lunches cease to occur.

See, I don’t vacation at home either. We’re still remodeling and spending nearly every night working on the house.

It’s different work, but it’s still no vacation. And I need vacations. Not week-long getaways or even weekend holidays, just little breaks from life’s stresses.

I want to stop and smell the flowers.

I may be exaggerating a little. Joy and I don’t always talk about work, I’m not always working on the house, and I don’t do all that much shopping. But I am having a harder time relaxing even when opportunities present themselves. This “instant” society has us believing that we need everything now and that everything we do needs to be done in the same manner – fast and right away.

We waste time. But not the traditional meaning of the phrase.

How much happier would each of us be if we spent an hour with our spouses rather than sorting through the bills? Or if we read a fun book rather than trying to figure out how next week’s schedule is going to look? We’ve been sucked in to this instant society and it’s hurting both our happiness and our relationships.

For a couple months, I resisted and managed to get in those needed-vacations despite the chaos around me.

But now, like many others, my priorities are all wrong. The truth is, I’m not doing what I need to in order to enjoy life – sometimes I just need to relax, to sit back with a good book, to take a walk barefoot in the sand or to stop to smell the flowers. We all do.

“Gather ye rose-buds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying. And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying.”
– Henry David Thoreau