It is one of the strangest days any of us will experience. It is also the day that makes a vacation a vacation. It is the first day back. It is the inevitable end of some temporary state of being known as vacation, or holiday, and the return to what is often referred to as “real life”, or “normalcy”.
But it is not a true return to normalcy, whatever that may be. If a vacation is successful, as mine has been, the first day back usually involves being, to some degree, more physically exhausted but more mentally/ emotionally energized or stimulated than is typical. Around the office, someone on their first day back from an enjoyable vacation is usually seen walking around the office with a slightly “springier” step, with interesting anecdotes, sharing photos to coworkers. People fresh from vacation do not seem to develop those mid-afternoon doldrums that come from an entire day of staring at a computer screen.
There is also the transition to normalcy, which often takes several days. This usually involves laundry, responding to mail, buying groceries, and all of the other tasks that one normally performs on a regular basis, but are almost never done while on vacation. Under normal circumstance, having to do all of these tasks in one particular day would be something to be dreaded, but today, that is not so much the case. Maybe it is the fact that I had gotten a break from these routine and mundane activities. This is kind of the same reason that many have come to recognize Tuesday, and not Monday, as the worst day of the week.
I have been traveling and out of the house since Friday, May 31st, two and a half weeks ago. It was not just one trip, but three trips, whose schedules happened to coincide in a manner that has made the first part of June somewhat of a wild goose chase around the country for me. I have always been one to plan things tightly packed together, but that usually meant meeting someone for dinner at 7:30, than meeting a group of friends at the bowling alley at 9:30 on the other end of town, and then going to a party afterwards. This trip, first to Chicago to road trip to South Dakota, than to Missoula. Montana, and back to Denver very briefly to fly to Minneapolis to attend a wedding on Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore, took that concept to a whole new level.
I knew I would be exhausted from this trip, but I am not nearly as exhausted as I thought I would be. It is quite easy to under-estimate the power of adrenaline. But, it was my friend Jacob who basically said that most people would be surprised at how much they are able to do if they just keep going. It is usually a manner of motivation, which seems like where the adrenaline kicks in.
I notice this all the time in Colorado, when waking up at 5:30 to go skiing is ten times easier than waking up at 6:45 to go to work. It may be easy to say “I don’t get tired, I get bored”, but that is not truly the case either. There are limits. A marathoner does not just find mile marker 25 boring. Well, maybe they do, I wouldn’t know because I have never run one. Either way, whenever we push ourselves hard, it is exhausting. The exhaustion we experience usually becomes evident as soon as the adrenaline from the activity wares off. The question is, how far can adrenaline take you? I guess that is partially dependent on the person. But, I am sitting here, now, still unsure whether or not I truly pushed my limit with this month’s series of adventures.
Regardless, it made for a period of time significantly more interesting than most. It hopefully made for some good entries on this very blog, and experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. Now, for a little time off from constantly being on the move.