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Post-Vacation Resolution

Post-Vacation Resolution

I took a short break over Christmas. I had time off work and I ran away for a week to be with friends and family. Not an exotic vacation, but a change of environment nonetheless. I expect a lot of people did the same sort of thing.

I regain a proper perspective of life when I take a vacation somewhere. Not because I intend to, in fact it usually takes me by surprise, even though it happens every time. A few days without schedule and suddenly—bam! I'm hit with that magical moment when I forget what day of the week it is. Not because I am too busy to remember, but because it has become unimportant.

What is a day anyway? Why is Monday a frightful ogre and why T.G.I.F? In Japan they are all T.G.I.F.'ing at the exact same time we are still wading through Thursday. Why is the same moment treated differently in different places?

Sometime in ancient history, we labelled the days of the week for our convenience, so that two of us could show up to work (or for a date) at the same time. Then those labels staged a coup and took control of us. They made us prepossessed with what we are scheduled to get done today because the schedule wasn't met yesterday and we are scheduled to take time off from our schedule tomorrow.

A vacation or some other event that makes us step away from our established cycle of existence can open a mental window for us to see each day as it really is: A unique, valuable, irreplaceable portion of my life. Most religions try to get people to adopt this mindset permanently as a pathway to inner peace (“sufficient unto the day are the evils thereof” and so forth).

Not that a having a cycle to your life isn't important. Studies show that people who take at least one day per week and one week per year away from their regular schedule are physically and mentally healthier that those who don't. We are apparently built to live cyclically. (At this point, anyone with a female reproductive system is saying: “Well, duh!”) But that cycle must not be allowed to smother our days in conformist same-ness.

Here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, I live at a high elevation surrounded by mountain peaks of still higher elevations. I am a speck in