How to Make Your Life a Vacation

how to make your life a vacationI hate it when people say: “I need a vacation”.  It makes my blood freeze.  I’m not being dramatic here.  I really do find that sentence: “I need a vacation” terribly depressing.  I think I find it depressing for the same reason I find the sentence: “Those were the best years of my life” depressing (no offence Bryan Adams).

If those were the best years of your life, there’s nothing left to look forward to.  It’s just going to get worse.

If you “need” a vacation, your life sucks.

There.  I said it.  Your Life Sucks.  I’m sorry.  But it’s true.  Try not to get too depressed.

I mean, when we say we need a vacation, what we are basically saying is we need to vacate, get out of here, get on a plane, and high tail it for the nearest beach/ski slope/spa.  Because life is really that bad/boring/tedious/unfulfilling.  You get the picture.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with “wanting” a vacation.  Wanting a vacation is an entirely different beast.  One you will probably not say in the same exasperated tone in which “I need a vacation” is often spoken in.

Going on vacation when you “need a vacation” is often a short term solution to a long term problem: ie. Your life sucks.

Which is actually a good place to start.  After all there’s nowhere to go but up from there.  It can only get better.  How?

Well, first off, identify why you need to go on vacation.  Are you children driving you crazy?  Do you hate your job?  Is your spouse just a little more annoying than usual?  Now fix it.

Sell the children, quit your job (you can live off the money from the sale of your children), and divorce your spouse (there goes the money from the sale of your children).

Okay, maybe these are bad solutions.

Read on for some good ones.

Because the real solution, to “needing” a vacation is to make your life a vacation.  Wouldn’t it be better to be on vacation 52 weeks of the year instead of working yourself silly for 52 weeks of the year, to make enough money for a two week vacation?  I think it would be.

Try the following ideas for one week and see if at the end of it all you still “need” a vacation.

1. Take a walk outside. Sometimes the desire for a vacation, especially in more northern climates, comes from a lack of natural light.  Apparently even a half hour walk on a cloudy day can make you feel better.  Go by yourself if you have no one to go with.  Go on your lunch hour.  Pick up a latté if it’s cold out.  Just get out the hell out of the house.  It’s driving you crazy anyway.  And if you stay there one more minute, you’re going to start cleaning.

2. Being that we’re on the topic: clean your house. Most people do not find a messy house relaxing.  If you don’t have time to clean your house, hire someone else to do it: a professional, a friend, your children.  In fact, one of the number one reasons people like going on vacations is because hotel rooms are generally clean and clutter free (I didn’t bother to actually look this up.  Actually, I just made it up).

3. Don’t bother. Just like I didn’t bother looking up whether or not it is true that uncluttered hotel rooms are a subconscious motivation for vacating, don’t bother doing a lot of stuff.  Chances are you do too much.  Solution?  Stop.  Write a list of all the stuff that you do, but don’t like doing, during an average week (ie. reasons why you need a vacation).  Now, don’t bother doing 25% of it.  Try  this for two weeks even.  See if the world falls apart without your contribution to the bake sale.  Consider, if you were on a “real vacation” you wouldn’t be available for the pta meeting, overtime, or child’s soccer match.

4.  Do bother. Does your community center offer pottery classes, dance classes, bonsai growing seminars?  Are there any local theatre companies in town?  Any good movies in theatres?  Do what you would do if you actually were on vacation.  Now that you’re no longer doing 25% of what you normally do in a week, you have some free time to do some stuff you really want to do.

5.  Of course now, there are many things in life that we have to do, but don’t want to do.  Fortunately, this solution is exactly the same as if you were on vacation.  That is: pretend to enjoy things that you don’t enjoy.  This is, after all, how people spend most of their time on vacation anyway: pretending.  Pretending to really want to see Mickey Mouse, pretending to really want to go the Polynesian Cultural Center instead of the beach, pretending you like taking endless photographs in front of scenic views.  Try this with anything you don’t like, but have to do.  Shopping, work, housework, all of these things can be pretended into false enjoyment (just like if you were on vacation).  If you really want to make this authentic, take pictures.

7. Now repeat 52 times.

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