How To “Vacation” Every Day

I walked in the door and the sandy, muddy shoes would tumble to the floor. The carpet—soft beneath my bare and tired feet—felt absolutely luxurious. I immediately started to run hot water in the tub while peeling off the rumpled clothes of the day. Sinking into the warmth that soon enveloped this weary traveler, I felt both cleansed and relaxed at once.

My toes wandered to the spigot, playing peek-a-boo above and beneath the water. Staring at and beyond the mirrored reflection of my brightly-polished toenails was my only entertainment … and it was more than enough. “Ahhh sweet, sweet vacation”  I thought to myself and closed my eyes while the stress of the days leading up to these precious few just melted away.

And then it occurred to me. This isn’t some fancy jacuzzi with high-powered jets and a special tray for trashy novels and fruity cocktails. It was a standard, run-of-the-mill bathtub… and I have the exact same one at home. AND, I just happen to have hot water and carpeting too. So why don’t I indulge in this most glorious and peaceful of practices more often?

That’s a really good question. Why don’t I?

And for that matter, why don’t I also…

Drive with the sunroof open and the windows rolled down? Enjoy more wine with my meal? And take my time while eating it? Listen to my favorite CDs instead of the crap they offer up on the radio? Go for a walk and leave my watch at home? Eat ice cream from a sugar cone? People watch … and then laugh at them? (Oh wait, I already do that.) Discover the beauty in the common intricacies of nature? Put my feet up, sit still and turn my face toward the heat of the sun? Set down the remote and pick up a book?

I guess I think I’m in a hurry. There’s always too much to do and not enough time to do it. I couldn’t dare pause progress in order to do such frivolous things. But here’s the truth … there IS time, and I CAN do these things—I just don’t arrange my life in such a way as to make them a priority. For some reason, Americans tend to believe that we must take time off from work, spend money, pack our bags and disappear to some far-flung corner of the globe in order to truly “get away from it all.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with THAT. I happen to adore far flung corners of the globe.

HOWEVER… a few weeks ago, while on vacation, I learned that many of the BEST things… many of the most treasured things were the things I could have been doing all along… If only I made the time.