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Suburban Island

Officially NOT on Vacation
Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003, 4:11 p.m.

QUESTION: Back so soon?

What I Learned: Take the longest vacation you can.

I have been home from vacation for almost a week now. Regular non-vacation life is back in full swing again.

This is what I figured out in the post-vacation week as I try to settle in to real life again Ė

  • Sugar cookies and beer before bed do not a diet make but you may not care the first week you come home from vacation because itís hard to believe that the party is really over.
  • You will finally accept that you do not now have, and probably never will have in the future, a team of helpful house elves to help keep your home pulled together because when you get back you can't help but notice that everything looks exactly the same as it did when you left on your vacation adventure.
  • When you drop a digital camera in the sand on Friday and keep taking pictures with it on Saturday and Sunday (even after it starts making grinding noises) you will find when you try to download those pictures upon your return that they are not really there. This is because when a camera make a scary grinding noise it is broken even though you chose to think that it is not.
  • You will never find the extended warranty paperwork for the broken camera and if you do, it will have expired a month prior to the digital drop in sand incident.
  • When you get home, you will have 10 messages on your home answering machine and they will all be from people you donít know and have no intention of calling back.
  • A beach pedicure with little diamond flowers on your toes looks great in the sand and on the boardwalk but itís a tough to translate it to the office setting. For some reason, you will never be able to get to the nail place the week you return from vacation and will wind up walking into an important meeting in sandals with faux diamond daisies on your toes.
  • Work will be harder the week you return from vacation than it was the week before you left for vacation even though the workload hasnít really changed at all.
  • You will be tempted to leave your Out of Office message turned on the first day you return to work when you open your email and see it fill up with all the things that made you take a vacation in the first place. Don't do it.
  • If you are lucky, like me, there will be a computer virus that will bring the office network to a standstill the morning you return Ė creating an atmosphere of stress, digital chaos, and great drama as deadlines for projects loom suddenly closer and you can't send or receive any emails. Since you just got back from vacation you can't just call it quits for the day and go home even though you'd really like to run like hell straight out the door.
  • There's nothing in the refrigerator to eat at home because you cleaned it out before you left on vacation and have't made it to the grocery store yet. That's why there's carry out. Right? Right.
  • You won't make it to the grocery until the canned goods and freezer dinners run out and everyone is tired of pizza and fried rice.

Welcome back Ė you are officially NOT on vacation.

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