It’s Tuesday. I’m home now, after 53 hours in the Big Easy.
I needed a real vacation following a few ultra–fast-paced work weeks and not having taken a real vacation in eons, but 53 hours would have to do. I looked forward to decompressing with folks who know me. I filled the time with activities definitely out of my usual routine: Checked out the spoken-word scene. Saw my uncle “do what he do” at a New Orleans second line. Had beignets and café au lait with a superstar (okay, just one of my best friends). Even listened to a Weezie song and half of a Cash Money oldie (couldn’t get through the whole thing).
It’s good to go back home.
Mother’s Day: replete with constant interaction, crowds, family, music, second lines, Super Sunday—with no break for the introvert. I did really well. My brain tilted toward frazzled but I kept it moving (despite the lack of vegetarian fare—New Orleans, do you have to put meat in everything?), happy to see family and get a taste of home. I even drove up to Louisiana’s capital and hugged friends I hadn’t seen in a year or so. In the end, I was gunning it back to New Orleans to make my flight. Reached the gate just as they were calling Zone 3. (I was in Zone 4; I guess sometimes it pays to be cheap.)
Even though I got some winks on the plane, my mind was still on overload. At midnight in Reagan National Airport, the dry (compared to home) air let me know I was not in N.O. anymore. Caught a cab feeling like I needed rest and relaxation from my rest and relaxation.
This weekend, I took it easy—bargain hunting to decorate my walls with something other than the lone Jimi Hendrix painting, buying plants, watching movies (or falling asleep trying to), giving into spring fever even if the DC sky doesn’t feel the same. But other thoughts kept creeping in—like Malcolm X’s approaching birthday, parole for the man convicted of his murder, and whether I truly believe in redemption (more on this next week).
Grown-up life—do we ever really vacation? I’ve been working since I was 16 years old, and I have never taken a vacation that didn’t include visiting relatives or holiday plans. I love my family and my job, but recreation from them both—a change of scenery and activity, even pampering—might serve to recharge me. I’m challenge myself to truly take a break—Bernie Mac style (video: 7:50 in). So I’m putting down this cheese sandwich, and I’m breaking, counting down the days.
Do you think stay-cations work? How often do you treat yourself to a get-away–type vacation?