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.

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  1. Lauren Shepard April 15, 2014 at 09:39

    then think of it as long-overdue therapy for a chronic condition of exhaustion, and get back to cloud-gazing! you not only deserve it, you require it for your mental and physical health.

  2. Christopher Patti April 17, 2014 at 16:00

    This is really quite sad. You *deserve* to have time with your wife and your family. I know we have it drilled into our heads that providing for them is THE sole purpose of our lives, but this is just plain wrong.

    You’ve spoken and written about how passionate you are about your family. Don’t you think you deserve time to enjoy them?

    I think you’re not alone, and this is a malady our society really needs to be a handle on before we wind up with legions of people toiling away unhappily all their lives without ever stopping long enough to actually take stock and smell the roses.

    I live for vacation, and I’m not afraid to admit that. My wife and I are career people. Normally, we work a LOT, and when we go on vacation it’s like we’re different people entirely – people I DON’T want to lose touch with!

    Enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it.

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