Posted by: Cathy | October 5, 2012

Bumpy Landing Back to Real Life

I’m back from vacation. Our final flight home had the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced, and I take plane trips once or twice a year so I’m not a newbie at flying. It was a literal metaphor for transitioning back from vacation into real life.

As I said before vacation, your senses are heightened when you’re in a new environment, and when you come home, it can feel like a big let-down. Your senses don’t need to be heightened in your everyday environment because you don’t usually experience much change day in and day out. There’s not much that’s new to see and experience unless you make a deliberate effort, and who has time for that with a job, chores, and social obligations? Vacation puts you into the moment, and it’s too easy to be distracted with real life to stay in the moment.

I’m trying to have a different transition experience this time around, though. My vacation was great (this photo is me throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome on October 2), but two weeks away was just the right amount of time; I was sad for my vacation to end but I was ready to get home to my pets and my own bed. So I’m trying to remember that I was glad to get home, that too much magic for too long just overwhelms your senses, and that I can still take moments to be present in my daily life to preserve the feeling of magic I had on vacation. Really savor a cup of tea, admire the garden of a house I pass on my commute, or enjoy the way my dog’s tail bobs back and forth on our morning walk.

I find this process also happens when you finish a big project and are pleased with the results; you look back at your to-do list with a feeling of “okay, now what?” That space between vacation and real life, or success and starting something else new, can be a blessing or a curse. You can let yourself celebrate what you did, or you can wallow in depression for what you lost.

This week, I want to choose celebration instead of depression.

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