When I was working full-time, I never fully understood the over-the-top excitement some parents felt when their kids returned to school after a holiday break or summer vacation. As a mom who worked outside of the home, I relished my time off with my family - we could sleep late, lounge around in pjs, watch movies, go shopping. No alarm clocks and no arguments over getting up, getting moving and getting out. We could spend relaxed time together without the constraints of a routine or schedule.
Now that I work from home, I get it. It's not really about getting rid of the kids (or the spouse). It's about getting back on schedule.
I am by no means a regimented schedule kind of girl, nor am I a morning person. There is, however, a certain flow to my days at home that is quite different from the start-stop-start-stop again rhythm that seems to be typical of a day when everyone is at home. When I'm here by myself, I may still be in my pajamas at 11 am (despite the fact that I've been up since at least 7) and I might even spend too much time on the computer, but I get things done. I check things off my list (more some days than others). I (usually) finish what I start - or at least make significant progress.
Don't get me wrong - I love having my family here. I just get more done when they're not here.
I know vacations are more about spending time together than working my way through a to-do list, but when the days where little is accomplished begin to pile up, I become less fun to be around. And when other people's stuff gets done and mine doesn't (but more stuff makes its way onto my list)....well, you see why a person might need a vacation from her vacation.
Even as I type this, the guilt sits on my shoulder, whacking me over the head. Be grateful. Stop whining. Be happy you have a family who drives you crazy.
And I am. I'm just advocating a little balance, and a little empathy for those of us who give a small cheer when vacation ends and life resumes. That's when I can cultivate an attitude of gratitude for all that I have, rather than saying it like a mantra through gritted teeth when my train of thought (such as it is) is interrupted for the 27th time in as many minutes.
I love my family. And I love vacations. But it took me until retirement to fully appreciate the joys of a quiet day-to-day life. And one of those joys is looking forward to the time at the end of the day when my family rejoins me here at home.
Till then, I'll be here in my pjs, checking things off my list. At least until it's time to go get a Starbucks.