Mark (generalist) wrote,

On Vacations


I don't like scheduling vacations. I usually like vacations once I'm on them, but I find the process of scheduling them excruciating.

    An aside: did you ever notice that the word "excruciating" has "cruc" in it, and that it almost certainly refers to Jesus' agony on the Cross? I notice things like that all the time, but I find that mentioning them rarely interests other people as much as it does me. I just looked it up in a Dictionary, right here, and this is what I found: "Etymology: Latin excruciatus, past participle of excruciare, from ex- cruciare to crucify, from cruc-, crux cross". So it is about the True Cross. It's always interesting to see how much religion permeates language.

So, back to vacations.

When we think about vacations we need to figure out, at a minimum:

  • what type of vacation (beach / relaxation, adventure, family visit, wedding)
  • where it will take place
  • when it will be
  • how it will impact work projects
  • how/when to schedule the absence with work
  • how the cat will fare
  • whether taking this vacation will interfere with or conflict with any obligations, either pre-existing or supposed

Let's just say that dealing with time and scheduling isn't my very strongest suit, so it isn't easy for me. Add to that problem that I like to nail down the variables before making a decision, and that my girlfriend's work by necessity schedules her time several months in advance, and you can see that scheduling vacations wouldn't tend to be my favorite thing.

Then there's the question: what do we expect to get out of the vacation--here are some possibilities:

  • fulfilled obligations
  • happier family
  • relaxation
  • education re cultures, languages, geographies, etc.
  • accomplishment, building or enhancing skills
  • break from work
  • creative time
  • personal exploration and/or relationship expansion with mate or friend(s)
  • getting stuff done around home like construction, mechanical or beautification projects

I'm sure there are innumerable other things that we could get out of a vacation, but you get the gist.

Part of what makes planning vacations so difficult is that we get so little time for them. This in turn can lead to a great deal of expectation, importance and meaning that weighs down the vacation itself. It's so short that we tend to try to make it perfect, instead of just flowing with whatever happens. I know people who have reportedly spent an entire vacation thinking things like: "this train is late", "why can't it be sunny", "it looked way better on the web site", and the like. This doesn't lead to happy vacations or happy memories of them either.

This year many of my girlfriend's girlfriends are getting married, plus she's in the "hazing" part of her career--so she's on call a lot and has less vacation than she will later on. So practically all "vacation" is tied up in these friends' weddings. So it's much more stressful than just going to a resort or some such.

This was much more rambling than usual, my apologies.

Live well, generalist

Tags: life

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