Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vacation Patience

Last week I was out of town for a long anticipated vacation. Even though it was only my second week unemployed, I committed myself to the break: no job hunting, no Tweeting, no blogging. This would be a true break from all work.

And, you know what? It was really hard. As much as I wanted to stay present and enjoy every millisecond of my break, those creepy, lingering thoughts popped up in my head:

"You're not working hard enough. You'll never be able to afford another vacation. If you don't Tweet, blog and email this week, people will loose interest. You're just one in a billion people looking for work right now, and those people aren't on vacation."

Meanwhile, I'm in a visual paradise. Ocean views out the front window. Steps away from a nature preserve of wetlands speckled with egrets and a driftwood beach. Gorgeous 70 degree weather, sunny with a light breeze.

I still got lost in my thoughts, replaying interviews and responses in my head. Plotting out action steps. Fretting over details.

One thing that did help: I made a conscious effort to observe my thoughts. Each time I started to wander into a critical, self-defeating diatribe, I could hear another voice calling out in the distance:

"Give yourself a break, Katie -- you're on vacation! There's nothing you can do about the past or future. You're living now and you're in paradise."

And now I'm back. Sitting on the old couch in the living room, looking out at our budding dogwood tree. The world went on while I was gone. It was good to have a break. And it's also good to be back: blogging, Tweeting, emailing. Enjoying the work that is my life right now. Trying to be patient as the future unfurls itself like the buds on our tree.

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