The Dark Side of Summer Vacation

01 Jun

It’s a shame to admit this, but if I were asked to write a cheesy essay called, “What I did on my summer vacation,” I would have to include the following sentence:

“I spent much of my summer vacation eagerly looking forward to going back to work.”

This is heresy to most people, and when my wife reads this, she may hit the roof. So I need to quickly clarify that the only time during my summer vacation that did not include thoughts of returning to work was the wonderful week I spent with my beautiful wife in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as we celebrated our 25th anniversary…I love you, Katie-Baby!

However, the rest of my vacation has been filled with thoughts of returning to “the grind.”

I have spent the morning reflecting on why I am eager to be done with my vacation. The irony is not lost on me that most students are just starting their vacation, and mine is drawing to a close. In fact, as I think about it, can I really call this a SUMMER vacation? I had a month off between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of summer school. But summer school starts on June 4th, and summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st. I guess I had a spring vacation…although everyone calls it a summer vacation.

Oh well, who cares? The point is this: I want to go back to work…

And I have figured out why.

I have developed a fairly stable daily, weekly, and monthly routine. It includes all aspects of my life:  physical, relational, professional, spiritual, and recreational. I have been working hard lead a more balanced life, and, although not perfect, I have managed to achieve some success. I am improving in ALL of these life areas as I live within my routine, and for the first time in my life, I am learning how to be content with who I am.

In the four weeks that I have been on vacation, my routine has been turned completely upside down. I have never been good at embracing change, and the sudden change in my routine in the midst of these life successes has derailed me. You see, with the exception of the week we spent in Tennessee, I have just been knocking around the house. I have had a great deal of time to write, but it has been hard to work on my writing with the kids around. As an example, I’m struggling mightily to concentrate right now, as my beautiful 8-year old daughter (who I would jump in front of a speeding train to protect) is banging away on the piano. She is legitimately practicing, not just horsing around. And yet, I cannot easily focus. I now realize that I need the solitude of my work office in order to work on non-work related activities.

Following my food “action plan” was difficult while I was in Tennessee. I don’t “diet.” I “dieted” for years with little to no success. The way that I have lost 90+ pounds has been by implementing an action plan that includes planning my meals ahead of time, writing down what I eat, weighing and measuring my portion sizes, and a regular exercise routine. Truthfully, I have not been disciplined about doing this since my vacation started, and now I am trying to get back into the habit. It will be easier to stay in the groove when I am going back into the office on a regular basis.

Of course, I recognize that all of these valid explanations for my struggles are not really valid at all…they are excuses to be undisciplined. And if there is one thing I have never been short on, it is excuses for not getting things done. The good news is that I am blessed with another day to start over and get it right…and I only need to get it right FOR TODAY. Tomorrow will take care of itself.


1 Comment

Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Focus, Motivation, Self-discipline


Tags: , , ,

One response to “The Dark Side of Summer Vacation

  1. George Bodmer

    June 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    This reminds me: I live in a musical family. My wife, my son, my daughter all play beautifully, the piano, the cello, the violin, the guitar. I am really honored to hear such great sounds every day. BUT often I’m reading in the living room, and one comes in and starts waxing musical. I look up, grumblingly, and think myself small for being irritated. I suppose if I had lived with Picasso, I would have complained, what’s with all the paintings?


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