Vacation Brain

Ahhh ¦vacation!   The time to get away from it all. To refresh and re-energize.   Yep, I ™m one of those  people, the kind who believes in taking a true vacation to get away from everything for a week or so.   No checking email, no calling the office.   I tell the people I work with, If the building burns, save yourself and tell me about it when I get back .   No sense telling me when I ™m not there to do anything about it.

Never have understood the concept of a working vacation  either “ isn't that an oxymoron?   If I ™m going to spend the money for a vacation I want to enjoy it “ sans work.

Funny thing is that my family didn't really take vacations.   A couple times we accompanied dad on a business trip to Florida; along the way we ™d wait for him in the car or at a restaurant while he called on clients, eventually ending up at the beach for a couple days.   Every few years Sis and I would go to Grandma's in Minnesota, but that was it.   No weekends at the lake, no ski vacations, no trips just for fun.   I learned about the beauty of a vacation after business school, when I had friends living in other cities.   Those friends would say, Come visit sometime  “ and whether they meant it or not, I took them up on the offer.   (Note to all of you: if you say come visit , know that at some point I will do just that)

It wasn't always easy for me to take a vacation.   I was (and sometimes still am) plagued by worries: what if something big  happens while I ™m gone? What if someone needs me? What if, what if, what if?     Early on I had a great boss who heard me lamenting the what ifs  and wisely told me, there is NOTHING that will happen in your absence that we can't fix when you get back .    Logic told me she was right and I ™ve tried to remember that ever since.

Last week was it “ vacation time!   An entire week of fun at our favorite resort with no work in sight, and it was beyond great.  Vacation Brain kicked in for both Hubby and I as soon as we left for the airport, a definite signal that it was time to relax. We read, talked, swam, lounged and were generally lazy.  Work Brain was nowhere to be seen, as it should be during vacation.

As with all good things, our trip came to an end far too soon and my Vacation Brain reluctantly started powering down while my Work Brain tried to wake from a nice nap.   At the airport, Work Brain said it would be a good idea to download my emails so I could at least scan them on the plane.   Sounded logical, so I tried to log-on.   Note I said tried  “ for the life of me I couldn't remember my log-in info.   Vacation Brain clearly was still in command.   After some time, I finally remembered and logged in “ a small victory for Work Brain.

Hubby was having difficulty too.   Wanting to initiate a call with a co-worker, he started to send an email with his cell phone number “ but Vacation Brain forbade him from remembering his own number. Work Brain, unfortunately, reminded him that I had his phone number in my phone.

Once I was online, Work Brain commanded that I look at my in-box. Yikes “ how could one person have that many emails in just a week?   My mind raced as Vacation Brain was desperate to keep me in resort mode.   Looking at the subject lines, I tried to recall what I was working on when I left town.   My mind was sputtering, with a vague memory of some projects but not enough for the emails to make complete sense.   And who ARE all these people, wanting answers from me?   Do I work with them?   I could feel the tension in my head as Work Brain fought to recover information from a week ago, while Vacation Brain attempted to keep all that information hidden.   Back and forth, the battle for control raged in my head as I read the emails, trying to make sense of it all.   Once the plane landed, Work Brain started a victory dance, knowing that as soon as we exited the jet way Vacation Brain was history.

Sigh. Why is it always like this? Within seconds of returning from vacation, it's as though we never left at all.   I enjoy my work but I really do cherish the little bit of vacation I take and I would love for the feeling to last longer than a nanosecond.

Good news is the office didn't burn.  At least I don't think it did.