During a recent visit to my parents, I had a defining epiphany.
I made a pot of coffee one morning, sprinkling a little cinnamon on top of the coffee grounds. As we sat around the living room, drinking our java, my mom asked me about adding the spice.
“Did you put cinnamon in the coffee?”
“I did. You don’t like it?”
“Actually, I do. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation.”
This struck me as a peculiar comment. I guess I was baffled why something so simple – like sprinkling cinnamon on top of coffee grounds – was a “vacation thing.”
“You know you can do that every day? You just take the cinnamon and…”
I don’t remember my mom’s response to my rhetorical question – and/or my smart ass narrative – but her “vacation” comment sent my brain into over-drive. The rest of the day, I contemplated two questions:
1. What are other simple pleasures – like cinnamon on coffee grounds – that we “save” for vacations?
2. Should these simple pleasures only be “vacation things?”
Let’s work through these questions one at a time. In order to get to the bottom of this, I cleared the mechanisms and let my mind wander to the closest sandy beach.
Everyday Simple Pleasures
I came up with several things that I only tend to do and/or indulge in when I’m on vacation. I’ve listed those things and tried to figure out why (your list is probably a little different, but you’ll be able to catch my drift):
I do my fair share of reading, but not like when I’m on vacation. When I’m off the grid, I’m more inclined to grab the newspaper, buy a magazine or allow myself to be engrossed in a book.
I don’t have ANY idea. Time? Distractions? ESPN.com?
• EATING A GOOD BREAKFAST
I eat breakfast every morning, but most of the time it’s Honey Nut Cheerios or a piece of toast with something smeared on it. When I’m on vacation, it’s like I’m going to the electric chair around 11 a.m., and I’ve chosen breakfast as my final meal.
I don’t have ANY idea. Convenience? Money? Concerns with cholesterol?
• TAKING A NAP
If I take a nap in the middle of a normal work week, I feel guilty – but I don’t think twice about sneaking in a siesta by the pool or in a dark hotel room.
I don’t have ANY idea. I guess in my weird, twisted brain…napping equals being lazy?
An adventure can be anything from parasailing to trying to set the world record for number of margaritas consumed on the beach – two things I would NEVER do on a random Thursday in March.
I don’t have ANY idea. I guess dirty dishes, laundry and grocery shopping are the kryptonite of adventurous living.
• IGNORING THE CELL PHONE
If my cell phone buzzes and/or rings during a typical work week, I’m like Pavlov’s dog: “Gotta check it! Gotta check it! Answer! Answer! Answer!” When I’m on vacation, I play that vacation card in a heartbeat (with a little sass in my tone): “I’m not answering THAT…I’m on vacation!”
I don’t have ANY idea. I guess simply being out of town is a bigger deal than some of the moments that I let my cell phone impact/interrupt every day. (e.g. family time, lunch with friends, church.)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Other “vacation things” just missing the list…Having sex; buying gifts for friends and family (souvenirs), and stopping to smell the flowers (literally).
Whether it’s food, places and/or experiences, a vacation seems to light a fire underneath me. Otherwise I fall into a routine: “Working” from the same coffee shop, ordering the same boring cup of coffee (no cinnamon), maybe choosing a “new” place for lunch and getting home about the same time so I can eat some chicken dish before the Ranger game starts.
I don’t have ANY idea. I guess I’m really a creature of habit and/or boring? (Take your pick)
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Did you pick up on the fact that I have NO IDEA why we…er….I don’t embrace these simple pleasures on a regular basis?
It’s borderline tragic!