How To Keep That Vacation State of Mind

This relaxed state won't last much longer. Promise.

This relaxed state won’t last much longer. Promise.

I’ve got the glow. The family-vacation-went-better-than-expected glow.

Like childbirth narratives, vacation memories are subject to reinvention. Instead of recalling the intermittent pain of persuading four genetically related, stubborn humans to agree on everything from meals to water play, I only remember the laughter and bonding – togetherness times ten.

Our family memories will last a lifetime.

My vacation-induced glow, however, will last only until we step through our front door. That’s when the real fun starts.

If you’re like me, the overwhelming affection you feel toward your loved ones and the relaxed vacation joie de vivre last just long enough to survive the trip home.

Once real life intervenes, the vacation glow peels off like a wet tankini, leaving piles of laundry, kids with no bedtimes, and sunscreen-induced acne behind.

I’m a great vacation mom – my yeses outweigh my nos ten to one. Want to eat gummy bears for breakfast? Again? Sure. Just be sure to wash them down with fruit punch. You best stay hydrated. Not shower for a week? Who cares! Lake water is clean enough. Jump head first off a floating trampoline? Why not? You’ll learn to swim on the way up.

Once home, I’ll have to slay the monsters I created. Or send them to your house.

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“How can we keep this vacation going and enjoy these last few weeks before school starts?” my husband said.

“We can ditch the kids and jet off to Bermuda for the rest of the month,” I said. “Right now I’m feeling relaxed and loving and up for anything. The second we get home, I promise to be a raving bitch.”

And so it will be. God help us all.

How do you keep that vacation state of mind going once you return home? Is the transition home after a vacation hard for you – or is it just me?

25 thoughts on “How To Keep That Vacation State of Mind

  1. It helps to not be the one who has to worry about laundry and sunburns, as the dad. Heading back to work after a getaway, I just plain miss the girls right away. My thoughts go back to the seashore or hillside or tent or museum we were just 24 hours ago.

    Maybe if I slept in a tent or cramped cabin every night with them, that vacation glow would never fade.

  2. We collect sea shells and paint them while we’re on vacation. We put them on the kitchen counter at home. Every morning we choose one and gush about our favorite vacation memories. In my imagination. Sigh. But it’s a great idea right? I’m going to try that next time. Great post Miss Mary : )

    • You had me going there! I love your idea! No seashells by the lake, but maybe next year we’ll collect seaweed (lakeweed?), weave it into necklaces and wear them when we get home. I just love me a DIY project! ;-)

  3. it’s inevitable. vacation is vacation for a reason, because we’re in a different place, literally and mentally. once we’re back, we’re back, the glow leaves faster than the tan, unfortunately. enjoy it while you got it, babe. :)

  4. First, the picture are great. Your children look so happy.
    Second, I know what you mean. I think of how long I can keep up the calm that has come with vacation. It usually goes the second or third time someone bumps me on the subway. The first time I am still deep breathing.
    Anyway, I am glad you got away. Keep eating those gummy bears.

  5. If reality were so dreamy, we wouldn’t need vacations. Here’s how to NOT keep that vacationy feeling–inlaws arrive 4 hours after you get home from vacation. Your getaway looks great & relaxing.

  6. Can you and I go on family vacations together? And come home together and live next door from each other so that we can psych ourselves out into re-entering “real life” together without unleashing our inner bitches when we hit the front hallway (sorry, I should speak for myself – I’m NOT saying you have an inner bitch – but you know what I mean) I think the coming home thing may be easier with a buddy, don’t you think?

  7. Love this post. Love the pics. It’s time to take this show on the road. You’re ready for stand up and the world needs to hear you and see you.

    I can see it now, Zainy’s and Second City are awaiting!!!

    Love you. Love every word you write.

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