I was really excited on Friday. And not just because Friday was the end of the week. Although Fridays are always intrinsically exciting. No…last Friday was my last day at work before vacation. That last day at work before time off always feels great. It is almost as if the anticipation of the vacation has more power to make us feel good than the actual vacation itself.
Well I am not sure I agree with that. I agree that the anticipation is a great feeling. And more often than not the actual day of travelling on vacation can be somewhat stressful. Packing, driving, flying or sailing. There are always things that happen that aren’t supposed to….and things that don’t happen that are supposed to.
Either way I felt happy and excited and positive last Friday. Happy that I was about to spend time with my family. Happy that we were all together. Excited about what we were going to do together. Positive about the year so far. What we have done. How we have done.
The surprising thing is that I found myself working hard on Friday – whilst at work – to control those feelings. To prevent myself from feeling good. Its strange really when I think about it. Almost as if I was anxious that feeling happy, excited and positive would somehow interfere in my last day at work? Almost as if I was trying to stop myself feeling too excited about my impending vacation.
So far then, we have had a superb vacation. Only one day mind you but still superb. Despite some questionable weather. And despite me working hard on Friday to not get too excited. Or happy. Or positive. And the only thing we ended up worrying about all day yesterday was where to buy some sandwiches for lunch (and what fillings to get).
So today I feel more relaxed. Calmer. Happier. I am not sure what that scale is mind you, but whatever it is, I feel better on it. Vacations are good and are very important. They are time to spend with people we don’t get as much time to spend with as we would like. They are a time to reflect. And laugh. And consider. And cheer. And contemplate. And enjoy. With family and friends.
But I still wonder about that day-before-a-vacation feeling. It is very real and it is very strong. And – despite my best efforts – that anticipation of a vacation is a very happy feeling. And when I thought about it some more, I realised that I have the same feeling ahead of any vacation long or short. At home or abroad. It seems as if planning and anticipating a vacation is the big deal (although of course it only applies if that planning and anticipating is followed by an actual vacation of some sort).
Taking to the logical conclusion then, more holiday trips of any duration would be of more apparent value – in terms of feeling good – than one big vacation. And almost certainly that whole thing about trying not to tell everyone that you are about to go away – but yet still telling them – is part of the ‘feeling-good-and-positive ‘dynamic.
Again – a good theory. But I don’t buy it completely. I am certain that the actual vacation itself has to be great to drive that anticipation…and if my vacations were only ever a day or two they would just be like weekends!
So my answer then is to take my vacation. But to plan what we are going to do in the vacation. Day trips. Experiences.
Plan. Anticipate. And enjoy!