I’ve been back from vacation for a couple weeks now (well, you know, as I sit down to write this anyways), and although I had my comments previously (which were written before I even left) about how I might feel coming back from vacation, I haven’t really taken the time to, you know, say anything for real about it here.
And, I ran out of things to talk about…
I’ve been in severe burn out mode over the past few months (years?). A job that I really should get out of, a work-in-progress that I just can’t seem to complete, months without sun, house repairs that just never seem to end, constant attempts at marketing (I hate marketing), and the list could really go on. These aren’t all terrible by any means, but have really just completely burned me out. I needed a break. And seeing as it had been about 2 years since the last time the Osters got out of the house as a family for anything more than a couple days…well..it was very much needed.
In fact, if you had seen my kids during the couple weeks leading up to our vacation, it would have been VERY apparent how much we all just needed to get a break from the routine.
Did the break work? Maybe…I’m still on the fence about that…mostly because we’re all still exhausted. Partially from the vacation itself, partially from the infant who doesn’t sleep through the night yet (not that he’s expected to), and partially from the illnesses that seem to be plowing through the Midwest right now…and keep hitting our house.
I think once rest finally hits the Oster house fully, we’ll actually be a lot better for everything.
And here’s why:
You see…one of the bigger issues about our routine, at least for me, is that we too often get stuck in our own daily lives. Between work, housecleaning, cooking, preparing the kids to go out of the house or to sleep or whatever, running errands and the whole host of other things that are involved in being an adult human today…me and my wife sometimes have very little time to focus on the little ones. This has been even more true with the arrival of the newest little one…who, you know, still likes to be held a majority of the time.
My kids, also, have their own things going on, between day care/school, homework, after school activities, sleeping, and whatever else.
I mean, seriously, although we’re still one of those families who eat our meals together and have our evenings together and go out and do all sorts of activities together, it’s really felt like we haven’t had much for family time together in the recent months (years?).
And that’s what’s so great about vacations. Sure, we might have gone to Disney World, but I think that was probably more of a hindrance to our vacation enjoyment than it was assisting. Vacations allow for those summer-like moments where all you have to do is have fun. There’s no mental notes about the need to get out to Target to pick up coffee and toilet paper before dinner (although, with Disney World, there is the rather similar thoughts about how you need to get to Space Mountain before dinner so you can use your fastpass, and maybe hit up the people mover before hand just to keep the kids from breaking down…).
Vacation allows those multitudes of tasks to melt away so your focus can be directly on what it should be on all the time anyways…the family.
Yes, there were some pretty big stressors that came about during our time outside in the sun. There were more than a number of break downs for each and every person on this vacation with us. No, I didn’t get to drink around the World Showcase at Epcot. But I did get to watch my son dance with Mrs. Incredible, my daughter squeal as she worked as a secret agent, and my infant son have a pacifier-spitting-out-moment-in-awe as Frozone came over to give him special attention. I got to kick back and rush through World Showcase with my wife as we searched for a place to get our drink on before everything closed (pro-tip: Germany) before ultimately heading back to the hotel and tipping back a bottle of wine. I even got to see my niece and nephew, who have traditionally had a less-than-easy time with new experiences, excitedly note their joy about numerous activities that we were about to indulge in.
And my Dad, who has had a live-long ban against rollercoasters, still seems to love Space Mountain…
(Also, so they don’t feel left out, my Mom and sister-in-law appeared to have some fun as well, although I can’t immediately think of any specific moments that aren’t repeats of the above).
Was is the perfect vacation that I was hoping for? Absolutely not. The place was busy, our entire traveling group was moody, and we had more than a couple of less-than-great things happen to us. But did we get the opportunity to focus on us as a family? Definitely. And my kids are already telling me about all the things they need to do the next time we head down there.
To which I reply…”let me get a nap in first”.
Alright, I’m outta here. Have fun out there!
Quick Update: It’s been just a little over a month since we got back…and it feels like it was years ago…and I keep wishing I were able to go on vacation again…