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    Recovering from a Vacation

    By Rod Moser, PA, PhD

    Stack of Suitcases

    Every working person needs and deserves a vacation. We need a change of venue, a mental health break, time with families, and, of course, we need some adventures in our lives. As a child, going on vacation simply meant a car trip, usually to see a relative. I dreamed of going to exotic places, but my parents rarely traveled more than a day from home. I now know why. Vacations are not easy.

    Do we need a vacation just to recover from a vacation? Many return from a well-deserved trip, only to lose any ounce of relaxation as soon as they arrive and head back to the stress of work. At home, the grass needs mowing, the mailbox is filled with unpaid bills that are now late, and the answering machine is maxed out with the number of messages it can hold. At work, changes have occurred and things have piled up during your absence. You have a few hundred emails, many marked URGENT and dated the day after you left.

    Before anyone leaves for a vacation, they often have to prepare for months. We hired our reliable house-sitter to care for our three dogs, two cats, a parrot, a dozen chickens, and an aquarium. We contacted the veterinarian (just in case) and left our agenda with dozens of people (just in case). I checked and rechecked all of the sprinklers that tend to break as soon as I leave. I mowed the grass one more time and crossed my fingers that it would not be brown when I got home again.

    And, for the first time ever, we bought travel insurance that included medical. Little did we know that we would actually need to use it. If anything, I thought that I would need the trip cancellation part of the policy. I did not plan on become ill or injured. For the previous two vacations, I have had a medical interruption. Last year, it was an untimely bout of painful kidney stones; this year, it was my two shoulder surgeries, and the pulmonary (lung) bleed from hiking at high altitudes during my vacation. Maybe God is trying to send me a message to just stay home.

    Actually, some of my best vacations were Staycations. I just stayed at home, puttered around in the yard, played with the dogs, and kicked back. It is nice to have opportunities to see parts of the world that you have only read about and experience history first hand, but sometimes the most relaxing vacation is outside your backdoor.


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