Vacation Deprivation

We’ll meet again, some sunny day – photo provided by author

My brain is doing that thing again.

The irritable twitching when I get an email. The momentary burst of headache when I hear a door close. The obsessive inability to look away from all the little pieces of dust on the floor, which is naturally paired with the nothing-done about such pieces.

Seriously, they just sit there, gleaming in the sunshine, reminding me that I have the time right now to take care of the annoyance, but I’m expertly procrastinating going into that mode. Besides, I have a cat on my lap, tea to sip, a blog to write in, and a holiday weekend to enjoy.

Those are valid reasons, right? Right?!

Yeah, I’m not convinced either. But those are the reasons that are winning the argument right now. Because the other side wants me to do things like sweep, and dust. To be domestic.

Ugh — domestic. It’s hard for me to see that as a desirable quality. Which is completely wrong and awful to all the people out there who are brilliant domestics. Intellectually I admire everything true domestics do to make their living space beautiful, inspiring, cozy … I really do. I’m a part-time introvert, meaning I have many, many days when I want to hibernate under a comfy blanket, rest my under-exercised bum on a comfy couch cushion, admiring my clean, warm, inviting home. Ample food in the fridge, a fire blazing in the hearth, and a pile of cats demonstrating precisely how I should be spending my all-too-brief time on this planet (namely, letting them sleep on me).

It’s just that I want all that comfy domesticity to just, happen. To be there with a snap of my fingers. Lately my introvert days are uber-lazy days, low motivation days, hide-from-the-world days.

Okay, let’s be real. They are melancholia days.

They are I’m-stuck-at-home-and-can’t-do-anything-about-that days.

It’s cabin fever, in its worst manifestation.

There’s little doubt that traveling is a stress reducer, happiness generator, creativity promoter, and self-awareness expander. That’s a lovely statement there — all the positive aspects of travel. But if you really look at these studies, they are also (arguably primarily) talking about the converse; the lack of travel is a stress creator, a happiness squelcher, a creativity dampener, and a perspective minimizer.

Which is more or less where I find myself, in these viral times, if I let entropy take over. If I don’t counter the lack of happy-hormones that come with more or less constant wandering, incessant getting-out-of-the-house-ness that is my surefire recipe for getting in a good mood. My brain puts on its best pouty face and settles in for a good, long sulk.

So what’s a girl to do? Why, plan a 2021 vacation, of course. Why would she do anything else?

My brief survey of the available travel = happiness research reveals that the very act of planning (well, it’s likely the looking forward to, rather than the planning itself) triggers a certain degree of positive emotions, and that those emotions stick around during that period of anticipation. So the way I figure it, I’d be silly to not start planning my next trip as soon as possible. Worst case scenario, something happens that forces me to cancel — personal and global are both on the list of possibles — but the reality is, it’s always been this way. I’m just slightly more aware of the potential obstacles than I’ve ever been in my entire life, but so what? The only thing that has changed, from a high enough vantage point, is my perspective.

Haha, take that! I “see” that perspective and “raise” it — more perspective!

Or something.

Anyway, I’m planning a trip. I’m not letting my brain do that stupid thing it does when I’m hermitizing and grumpitizing and overall being a piss poor member of society. I’m anticipating travel, looking forward to wandering, and visualizing injecting my brain with lots and lots of joy juice. Ergo, trickles of said joy juice are now free to come through my synapses, and linger around for awhile.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time, because those dust particles aren’t going to sweep themselves.

7 thoughts on “Vacation Deprivation

  1. I feel you. I finally have the money (and confidence) to travel and now I can’t even go anywhere. I used all my vacation time in October to do a writing retreat but I had to stay in my own state! I’ve got a friend in Cambodia right now who is living my dream — teaching (now virtually) and traveling around the world. Every time we talk he tries to get me to come with him…eventually I’ll make that rash decision.

    Liked by 2 people

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