Sometimes vacations don’t seem worth the time.
You spend so much time getting things settled before you leave, then spend so much time catching up when you return that you end up feeling more stressed than before you left. But they’re so important to have.
I heard a great analogy once that may be old news for people who love music, but was very revelatory to me. It was that in life, like in music, it’s the rest that gives shape to the song. It’s not the notes but the silence between them. Without the pauses, however brief, a brilliant song simply becomes a long, screeching tone.
For me that silence needs to be both mental and technological. I get away from not only all my projects and work, but also from my email, networks, and social sites. We head up to Garland’s Lodge in Oak Creek Canyon outside of Sedona for about a week. We rent a gorgeous wood cabin among gardens, flowers, hiking trails, and apple orchards. What we don’t have is any network connectivity even if we wanted it. No wifi, no cellphone reception, nothing.
It’s really tough, especially for the first day. I almost feel like I’m detoxing, where even if I don’t think “I need to check my email”, like a addict I find my hands flipping my phone on out of habit. And it’s not just me. Several times I’d be sitting on our porch writing on my laptop and other people at the lodge would walk by and be shocked. “You have internet!” they’d exclaim and then scurry off to see if their iPhone or laptop could capture the same magical wi-fi-fairies I apparently had. Funny.
We even got trapped at the lodge for a full day when a rainstorm in the canyon made the road impassible for our car. Sitting on our porch, listening to the rain come down, drinking a bottle of wine… guess how much I ended up missing the internetz? Not a jot.
I wrote on several different projects, and read multiple books. I studied human anatomy, and worked on my rusty drawing skills. I picked apples, visited chicken coops, smelled flowers, and watched hummingbirds.
This coming Monday I start a new job in an industry I know little about but am incredibly excited to learn. It’s a new verse in my own personal song, and I’m glad I was able to take a good rest before it begins.