Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Power of a Vacation

I took a peek at my blog entries and realized it had been WEEKS since I last wrote. I know why -- I was (and still am) under the gun with a deadline. I was feeling pretty pressured by that, frustrated with the way the book was going, and trying to get a million personal things done, too. Not to mention the mini book tour I did in March, which took up a lot of weekend writing/catch-up time.

Despite all that, I needed a vacation pretty bad. I knew it, my family (who suffers the brunt of my stress ;-) knew it, heck, even the dog knew it.

For Spring Break, my husband booked the whole family on a cruise. I was dreading the time away (I know, how crazy is that?). Just thinking of how far it would put me behind, all the work and e-mail and mail I'd come home to (I still have a lot of e-mail to get caught up on so if you e-mailed me and I didn't respond, it's just me being snowed under!). Before we left, the thought of a vacation was more stressful than relaxing.

I had made a conscious decision, however, that this time when I took a vacation, I'd REALLY take a vacation. I haven't gone on so much as a weekend trip in years without taking work along. There's always been a deadline, a copy edit, a proposal, something due.

I had all those same things due this time, too. A book to finish. A proposal to flesh out. A new series to plan. But even I could tell I needed a break--a real break--from work. So I left it all home. I did bring along my new Alphasmart Neo (more on that toy in another blog) but never even turned it on.

I returned, seven pounds heavier and a whole lot more mentally healthy and ready to face the work. The weight, of course, is all the cruise line's fault. They serve food around the clock on the cruise and all of it's awesome. My husband and I went all out this time (since the cruise also coincided with our 15th wedding anniversary) and bought a BOATLOAD of souveniers and even bought our very first piece of real art, by a Russian artist, at an art auction (they have those on board the ship; very cool!). They had REMBRANDTS there -- engravings by him and one by Picasso. It was the closest I have ever been to The Masters. There were Dalis and Chagall but those sold before I got to look at them. Oh, and LOL, Thomas Kinkaides, too. Very weird to see a Kinkaide among the Dalis.

We visited Cozumel, Honduras (note: don't try to give blood after going there; apparently there's a malaria risk. Gee, wonder why the cruise people don't put THAT in the brochures? So, I'm off the Red Cross's list for a year), Belize and Cancun. Cancun was the one time we went off the tour we'd paid for because our tour guide was a PITA so we paid a taxi driver to take us to see the sights; it was the most fun! We went to their zoo; the animals are caged but just behind chain link. None of that fancy-dancy glass walls and "don't feed the animals" stuff we have in the states. Here, you can actually get close enough to PAT THE JAGUAR (which we didn't) and feed anything you want to the monkeys. It was sad, actually, to see a zoo like that.

The whole trip was magical. We did ATV rides through the jungles of Cozumel, snorkeled along the reef in Roatan, recovered huge shells along this itty-bitty island off the coast of Belize...amazing, forever memories. I gained a bit of self-confidence (and a new skill) when I mastered the ATV (much to my daughter's relief who was on the back with me).

I found the 10 days away from work were restorative, rather than stressful. When I came home I did, indeed, have a pile of tasks and phone calls waiting to be returned, but I was able to attack it all with renewed enthusiasm. The book is swimming along faster now, and the new proposal is coming together well.

As for me, I'm ready to go again...any time!


1 comment:

  1. I am so happy you're home! :D I'm glad to hear you had a nice vacation and are rested. But still glad you're home. ;) I missed your blog posts.


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