Post-Vacation Blues

Almost everyone experiences some degree of difficulty making the transition from vacation back to regular everyday life.  It seems the longer the vacation, the harder the transition becomes. And with it comes a pull against getting back to “the grind” -- and the feeling I term “vacation blues.”

In the non-habitual vacation mode, there is a lessening or absence of the usual rules and regulations we abide by in everyday habitual life. Upon our return, we experience this loss of freedom acutely.

We seem to inhabit a non-habitual world during vacation; ordinary time is suspended, and we become reacquainted with ourselves. We meet once again our carefree self of yore where our dreams of what we could be, what we could create, what possibilities could still await us – still germinate within. We remember a place within ourselves where we weren’t pinned down by the weight of having to earn a living and safeguard our “future.”

Also, while on vacation, there may be an impulse to go ahead and fulfill an early dream of youth that was let go of in favor of pursuing a “safe” course in life. Often, that first pursuit evaporated only to be replaced by inner doubt and outside “advice” to relinquish the  “pipedream” and take a “sensible” step to secure a reliable weekly paycheck. (Woody Allen’s mother pleaded with him as an adolescent to become a pharmacist; Al Jolson’s father urged him to become a rabbi and forgo a precarious profession as a singer).

A student of mine faced this challenge.  In her personal work with me, undertaken in her late forties, she delved into the depths of her spiritual journey and discovered her first priority to herself was to fulfill her early life dream to become an actress. Since then, she has undertaken to seriously pursue that aim as a vocation while making her current day job her avocation.

There is no reason why reversing vocation and avocation can’t become a standard practice in everyday life. Doing so restores our long-lost faith in ourselves and has beneficial effects on both self and family. Here our creative spark is reignited, our material life becomes simpler, and a balance is achieved between nourishing our material nature and our soul nature. This reuniting of ourselves with our lost dreams allows us to reunite what we once had but had relinquished.

Everyone can enjoy that entrepreneurial spirit of soul as our faith quotient begins to build once again. Then the dark “blue” clouds of gloom give way to blue skies and the possibility of freedom opens once again to us.