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Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Blog, Self | 2 comments

Keep Vacation With You All Through the Year

Keep Vacation With You All Through the Year

Have you ever had that post-vacation, back-to-the-doldrums, stress coming back in waves, back to the grind {you get it} feeling when you return from some time away? Whether you take a weekend off or a couple of weeks of vacation, it is so hard to wrap your head around real life when you get back.

We spent last weekend at the Shakori Hills music festival {Shakori, baby!} in Pittsboro, NC. It’s our favorite vacation. Four days of music, nature, and pure and total relaxation. The month before we go, I’m always a little reluctant. Camping sounds like a lot of work, the weather never promises to look good… Then, the week before we leave, I’m super pumped. I start making lists and getting the camping gear ready to go. Then the day before and the day of, I’m always a total anxiety ball. I just want to get there and get the camp set up. Then we get there, get the camp set up, and I breathe a sigh of relief.

First of all, there’s the vibe… as soon as you drive in, people are yelling, “Happy Shakori!” You instantly relax just a little bit. Then you find a campsite, a little more anxiety goes away, and then you unpack, crack open a beer, and head down to listen to some music. Boom–the troubles of the world disintegrate.

We had a great weekend, as usual, just walking around and basically doing whatever we wanted for a weekend. There were lots of beers involved. And sangria. The kids had lots of juice boxes and bubbles. There was mud. There was face painting. It’s like summer camp.

When it was time to pack up, I had the thoughts I always have when I leave…

Can’t we just stay another day?

Is it really time to leave?

Isn’t there a way we can just move in and live here?

In fact, when we left, my 5-year-old son bawled his eyes out. He wasn’t ready to go. I wasn’t ready to get back to real life.

Down in the Dumps

So what do you do when you get home to a messy house (my 4-year-old suggested it would be a good idea to hire a house cleaner to come in next time we go away), tons of laundry to do (thank you, Shakori mud), camping gear to put away, and a life to live?

You take another day off, of course. Then you have stressful dreams all night about going back to work, and then you just bite the bullet and do it. Take a shower, get up in the morning, and it’s like the whole vacation didn’t even happen. In fact, when we picked up the 5-year-old from school on Monday, he said, “Guys, school is NOT as fun as Shakori.”

Keeping the Vacation Alive

So I’ve decided, after 36 years of feeling this way after vacations, I’m not going to stand for it anymore. It’s a ridiculous roller coaster, and I don’t want to cram my life enjoyment into a 4-day weekend twice a year. I want my life to feel like a vacation, dammit!

So this is what I’ve decided. It’s what makes vacation so amazing.

10 ways to make your entire life feel like a vacation:

1. Get a maid so you never have to clean your house.

2. Go outside whenever it’s sunny out and stay inside and read good books when it’s not.

3. Do new things.

4. Plan your outfits and make an effort to look good.

5. Smile more.

6. Say hi to strangers.

7. Let yourself relax without feeling guilty.

8. Drink a lot.

9. Enjoy eating delicious food.

10. Do whatever the fuck you want whenever you want to do it.

Ok, so that last one isn’t exactly possible all the time. But think about it: that’s not even possible on vacation. You end up doing some stuff you don’t really want to do, like setting up and taking down the campsite, traveling, sitting inside while your kiddo naps. Isn’t that just like real life?

In life, you don’t always get to do what you want, but your whole life doesn’t have to feel that way.

I’m doing this little challenge for the month. I’m trying to do something I love every day. So that my life can feel a little more like vacation. Will you join me?

What do you have to do?

Just do it: 30 consecutive days. Something you love every day.Take a photo and post it somewhere on social media with the hashtag #dreamsmatter. {for the record, this wasn’t my idea… I came across it like a magical unicorn at the very moment I needed it most. Check out more about it at

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Make Life Feel like a Vacation


  1. These are great ideas! We had a maid once when my mother in law was ill and we were all living together. It was an eye opening experience. Instead of feeling guilty about it, real cleaning got done regularly, when THAT got done, organizing was just organically happening as a result.
    Usually when I start cleaning I get caught up in organizing too. YOu know, “oh, I was looking for this insurance paperwork and I must deal with it NOW” Very hard to do both. If a “stranger” cleans up the dirt for you, you can then get organized. It worked really really well. Also, regular cleaning over a long period of time is magical. You can’t believe what a difference it makes and I highly recommend it.
    As for living life in a more vacation like mode, I can feel the voices in my head arguing and I really want them to stuff it. I love these ideas and will follow them from now on! Smiling DOES make a difference in how you feel. And I love drinking. Thanks.

    • Alexandra – that is so interesting about the cleaning! It makes sense… In fact, I just spent 10 minutes putting away all the shit on my bathroom sink and threw out like an entire bag of old toiletries. Now I can actually USE my sink! And I ALMOST got caught up in organizing the cabinet under the sink, but I had to keep saying to myself “just purge, just purge.” And now the sink counter is clean, and I cleaned off the kitchen table, and I already feel like weight has been lifted. I love the idea of having constant cleanliness so you can focus more on the organizational aspect. And let’s get a drink together 🙂

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