How I Fight the Post-Vacation Slump

Your guide to planning a holiday without your kids is up next week, but in the meantime, some brief thoughts on fighting the post-vacation slump.

It’s natural to feel a little bummed after six months of anticipation and a week of bliss is over, right? Maybe so, but it bothers me anyway because one thing I REALLY never want to be is that person who is constantly looking to the next thing to make me happy. So after getting home and the excitement of holding my babies again melted quickly into the usual grind of refereeing their fights…I’m choosing contentment.

I’m choosing to take my long to-do list in stride. I’m reading lots of children’s books and stopping to play. I’m relishing spring. Visited the nursery this morning with the two younger ones and walked mostly aimlessly, smelling the green (and blue!) and giggling at the chickens (also walking aimlessly). I’m willingly falling back into the rhythm of ordinary.

Spring! San Antonio bluebonnets. Credits: Al Rendon.

Don’t be impressed though, because this week has also been a long string of fails. My daughter’s one year photo shoot was a teary disaster and a day later I left her ear appointment with two more doctor appointments instead of answers. I spent an entire day gathering documents (and getting pretty) to get my Texas driver license, only to be told that my current one is expired by just a few weeks, requiring a written and driving test. A driving test at age thirty-something and after a decade plus of a clean record! I’ll have to go back at least twice more. I’ve been grocery shopping with kids TWICE this week. And I spent all of yesterday prepping a special Passover Seder dinner, only to be cut short from both ends by a husband working late and soccer practice afterward.

But anyway. Back to enjoying the journey. My favorite way to avoid the post-vacation blues? Display the memories! I hang my new street art and print—yes PRINT—a best photograph from our trip. You’ve heard the research on how photos make people happy later. And I’m as guilty as the next digital-age child of leaving all my photos on some black hole hard drive or cloud, never to resurface. So I’m trying to be more deliberate about getting my photographs off screens and into view. And when you can see your own collection of blessings—people, places, experiences—all together like this, it’s so easy to count them!

Top left to bottom right: Moab Utah, Egypt, San Antonio Texas Spanish mission, Richmond Virginia, Moscow Russia, wedding day, Jerusalem, Jackson Hole Wyoming

Right to left: Machu Picchu Peru, Istanbul Turkey, Petra Jordan
Left to right: Cinque Terre Italy (newest addition!), Petra Jordan

Next, get back to local adventuring! There’s no need to sit home feeling sorry for yourself when there’s lots to see within a few hours–no matter where you live. Especially in our case, since we move every few years. We decided to head south to the Gulf of Mexico next month for some beach and pirate ship action with the kids before the summer crowds gather. In the meantime, we’re off to Natural Bridge Caverns and a Texas landscape artist exhibit—both within a 15-mile radius.

And ta-da! My post-vacation slump got a big lift. Do you have any fail-proof tricks for a quick rebound?

Until next week!

 

 

 

 

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