It was around the time I finished my first beer in the hot tub on the side of a mountain, watching clouds lazily roll over the top of the next peak over, that I realized I was on vacation.
Not “a quick weekend getaway”. Not “taking my family to the conference with me”. No ulterior motives. Just going to the mountains, so as to be in the mountains, for an entire week.
I was trying to explain why this was a big deal, and thinking back to when was the last time I’d taken a V-word. And I realized the answer was: never. Not as a working adult, anyway. The last time I went somewhere just for the hell of it was when I was 18 years old. I’m 33, and I’m on my first real vacation.
I’m still coming to terms with this. Because vacations have never really been possible until now, I guess I’ve come to think of them as Not Something I Do. In my mind there’s an air of the bourgeoisie around the word “vacation”. They are one of those things the Joneses do, along with owning a standard-issue golden retriever and having 2.5 children.
I think there’s a part of me that feels like I don’t rate a vacation yet, because I’m not There yet. (“There” has a very specific definition; we won’t go into that now).
I taught myself a dice game this evening, then I taught it to three other people. Are these things people do on vacations?
We even brought the babysitter with us. At several moments I’ve panicked because I was goofing off and that always means a stray child is about to build a sand castle in the cat litter boxes. And then I looked around and everything was fine. I don’t know how to deal with this.
I’d like to say that this is really one of those “haha, bet you wish you were here, suck it losers!” posts. But the truth is I feel bad about being on vacation. Like I have no right to be here or something.
Still, those clouds on the mountain were pretty neat.