Sometimes You Have to Let Go
I've never been good at letting go, relaxing in the moment or waiting on things to just happen. I suspect part of this was just from my being an ambitious child, part of from parents who were a bit too distracted and the overwhelming grasp of the me generation I grew up in. But I have always had a hard time putting things down and waiting for them to settle.
Seriously I am playing this game constantly--even when it tells me to wait
So when I hear about people taking vacations--I'm always thrown by the idea. My best friend Kelly goes to Maine for weeks in the summer, my boss Roland takes ten days with his family to the east--I have even had editors flee for days on end to places like Ireland and Missouri. I just don't get how they do it--how they can put their careers, friends and life on hold to go off the grid.
And maybe part of this is that I have always worked some kind of freelance as an adult--whether it was scourging for hours when I worked retail even as a assistant manager or because I have jumped from TV show to show back when I had a more flexible career. But the idea of not working means not making money means no longer term trips to exotic places because how will bills get paid?
This doesn't mean I don't travel out of town--I go to Seattle or San Francisco or Las Vegas on the regular--I can pull myself together for trips to Vancouver or Chicago for weddings and family visits. But I always cut the travel close to leave at last moment on a Friday and back at work on a Monday. I only took 3 days off for my wedding and part of that was because we got married on a Friday night to save money and let our guests have a full weekend to explore a new city... While other people get to explore the museums and tourist traps I'm lucky if I get beyond my hotel room and a handful of restaurants.
But what I have come to learn lately is that there is no point to doing things this way--my financial life will not fall apart if we have a honeymoon or take a week to see another city. That as an adult who works hard and makes decent money I should be able to plan and take advantage of such an experience-that I know the few trips I had where I was able to relax meant the world to me. That there is so much to be gained from leaving the familiar and putting the everyday on hold--even if it is letting myself take a full four day weekend instead of rushing in and out of trip. That when I do this I am able to recharge and reboot and makes my job, my writing, friendships and my marriage better.