Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On Summer Vacations

I’d like to talk about vacations as this is the time for many of us to plan summer things with family, spouses, et cetera. Here's a question: does one have to leave home for it to be a vacation?

I recall as a freshmen one of my professors talked about all of this stuff he got done during his summer "vacation." I recall challenging his use of the word “vacation” reasoning that the root of vacation is “vacate” and if you haven’t vacated your life of the everyday mundane, you haven’t really taken a vacation, you simply had time off. (Yes, I know I was a bit snotty back then.) And now here I am revisiting this notion.

Last week I took a week off to celebrate my birthday and take a very much needed respite in order to begin a longer writing project and a few other things. There wasn’t any packing or rushed attempt to book a flight or a train. No special shopping or suntan lotion or fancies of getting a tan on my embarrassingly beige legs. I did, however, make a pit stop at my neighborhood library.

Now that I think about it, calling my week off a vacation is a misnomer, right? When I think of a vacation, I think of hopping on a plane, maybe watching the ocean waves from atop a Cruise ship, or changing space of some kind.

The biggest gift anyone can give themselves is time to do the thing they most enjoy. For me that thing was having a quiet conversation with myself and the page (or computer screen.) Don’t get me wrong: I do want to see ocean waves and pack for a voyage. I want to mail postcards to my friends from exotic places with foreign smells and foods I can’t quite pronounce. But for now, I’m content with getting a head start on something I’ve been preparing to do for some time. That is, challenging myself to write in a longer form, that is a book.

Do you have any vacation or time-off stories to share with us on First Person Plural? If so, send them to me with pictures, if you have.

Contact: thecarousel@writer.org


Tara said...

Sometimes, a vacation just seems like a departure from your routine moreso than your zip code. Hope you had a good break and an even better birthday!

Joseph Ross said...

Thanks for your thoughtful piece, Abdul. I agree with Tara that as long as you intentionally break from your routine and create a new, probably more nourishing one, that certainly qualifies as a vacation.

I am in the middle of two entirely unscheduled days. I can order my time as I choose and that's the restful, rejuvenating piece for me.

I suspect that for most of us, our lives our so dictated by others' schedules that it's a break just to be able to control the claims on our own time. I know that is true for me.

ASIeksklusif said...

nice one, i think you guys should take a break from any routine schedule, take a nap, dream about nice places.

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