Tag Archives: vacation

Back to the Real World

Wow!  Two weeks of vacation.  It’s an amazing thing, changing my schedule so drastically.  There is no automatic pilot – getting up in the morning, running the shower while I put the water on for coffee, reading the paper, driving to work, doing my thing there and driving home to make supper and then the evening’s activity of art or reading or conversation or friends.  Vacation is all about changing location and changing mindset by moving out of the daily ritual.

Interestingly enough, as much as I move out of the pattern that is my daily life here in NH, I willingly move into different ones depending on where I am.  It seems that that morning ritual is particularly important to me.  I develop one at each place that I stay for more than a couple of nights.

The Shin Pond ritual involves putting on my bathing suit, packing up my headlamp and clothing for the day, walking down the path to the main cabin, starting the coffee, going for my morning swim, taking my coffee to the end of the dock with the current book and watching the day start over the pond.  At the ocean, it’s more civilized, less complicated.  I make coffee, wipe the deck furniture of its morning dew, pour the coffee and settle on the deck to watch the lobster boats go out for the day.  I usually have a book in hand there as well.

There is something comforting about starting the day with a simple task and then enjoying the morning as it slowly unfolds that appeals to me.  That early quiet time sets the tone for the day and allows me to begin with a peaceful mind.  Early rising often means that I am the first one awake.  I love the quiet while everyone else is still asleep and I have the whole day to look forward to.  I love being the maker of the coffee.  I love watching my fellow vacationers sleepily emerge from their rooms to join me in my reverie of the beautiful place we are sharing.  Vacation lets me stretch that morning time into hours rather than minutes.

Ahhhhh….I’m still feeling the peace.


It’s that time of year again.  Just like all of the mental health workers of the world, August is the time of year that I retreat from the world of my daily commute, internet access and the modern world.  Two blissful weeks spent in Maine, the first in the north woods on a pond with no electricity.  This is a family property that swells with cousins and aunts and uncles and children and dogs during the first week of August.  We spend our days catching up on news, swimming and climbing mountains.  Our evenings are card games and the occasional community bonfire.  I love this place.  I’ve been visiting since I was a little girl and will continue as long as I am able.  It is like going back in time.

The second week is rather more luxurious.  After all, there is electricity.  It is a house that my grandfather built on the rocky Maine coast.  This year I will be joined by my son for a weekend and then my art friends for the rest of the week.  My favorite time there is coffee on the deck as the sun rises.   I am anticipating great food and lots of creative fun.

Setting my intention for this time:

Relaxation – These weeks are the calm before the storm when I have to get ready for my son’s trip out west and his first year of college.

Mindfulness – I will work on staying in the moment and paying attention to what I am doing now.

Work – I intend to do some thinking and planning for a workshop that I am hosting later in the fall.

Play – I intend to have fun and make the most of my family and friends during this special time.