December 12, 2010

My winter vacation.

It's the end of my one week, stay-at-home vacation.  I'm finally feeling relaxed and, of course, I have to go back to work tomorrow.  I took the week off because my son-in-law had back surgery on Monday (by my doctor-boss) and I wanted to be available to pick up kids and give my daughter a break or whatever was needed.  Jason is the best patient, does exactly what he was told to do, is walking and resting and almost pain-free, and well on the road to a complete recovery.

It's been a strange year for me for vacations. The only other week I took off was in April when I stayed home and painted two rooms in my house.  No Europe or tropical trips for me this year, but I do enjoy a week of not working, even if it entails household chores or tending to the family.  It took me until Thursday to really feel relaxed, but now I'm realizing how much less stressed I feel, so we'll see how long that lasts when I return to work.  And yes, I remain thankful to have a job at all.

I did get a few things done that were important.  The leaky shower is fixed, my hair is cut and colored, and I saw the third of the Stieg Larsson trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. An amazing story, well written books, and edge-of-the-seat movies.  Filmed in Sweden and in Swedish with subtitles!  Three movies and not one minute of sunshine in any of them.  That's somewhere I'm not planning to visit.  But I sure do recommend the books, an astonishing story of government intrigue and the most fascinating character I've ever seen - start with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I finished my holiday shopping, and found out about a great place to buy gifts that change the world for very little money at Oh, and I mustn't forget that I got myself back to the gym and took a few long walks outside, so all in all, it was a pretty good week.

Oh yes,  I took a one-day trip by myself up the coast to Santa Barbara and then to the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez.  It's hard to find a more lovely view of the ocean driving up the coast with the sun shining on the water and the view from above on the Freeway. It almost felt like meditation, and I found myself taking deep breaths and feeling calmer and calmer.  And I took a few new CDs of folk and popular music from the 1960's, so I sang my heart out the whole way.   I ate lunch and gambled for three hours and came back with a little more money than when I left, so yeah for good luck.

So what's the moral here?  Really, not much.  I'm grateful that my son-in-law is on the road to better health, I'm happy to have had extra time with the grandkids, I'm happy with myself that I am on the road to a stronger body, and I'm happy to have taken even a one-day trip out of town and that, even alone, it was a really fun day.  I haven't visited exotic new lands, but I still feel changed.  A little more relaxed, less stressed, and a bit more confident. Sounds like a good vacation to me.