Monday, July 5, 2010

The Benefits of Taking a Break

So now I understand why, when I've been moping lately, various friends have asked me if I could take time off work.  I've never experienced a vacation as anything except escaping from one type of stress into another, with any good done immediately negated once I returned home.

This past week was different.  I took Thursday and Friday off, giving me a five-day weekend with the Monday holiday for Independence Day.  My boyfriend and I drove down to Santa Monica early Thursday morning, played in the ocean, wandered through shops, ate some fantastic Thai food, and spent the night with an old mutual friend who had the most magnanimous parents imaginable.  When Mrs. C discovered my love of music, she insisted that I try out her marimba (think of a giant, wooden xylophone).  Then she played a duet with me while the men in the house danced behind us.  Mr. C chatted with me about psychology and yoga, two of his (and my) interests.  Then everyone retired to the living room to watch the IT Crowd together, since we're all not-so-secret nerds.

The next morning, we awoke to a view of the ocean and, in the distance, Catalina.  We scurried off to Los Angeles, where we later met up with my parents and sister, who were staying in a different hotel.  Then my boyfriend, sister, and I spent the next two days at Anime Expo.  As I said, we're nerds.

For the first time in who knows how long, I allowed myself to buy whatever I felt like, practicality be damned.  Buttons, key chains, clothing, posters, a picture of me dressed in a platypus costume...  My face hurt from grinning all weekend.  The crowds were immense, but the atmosphere was so electric, so convivial, that it felt like a giant family reunion.  Parts of the convention were educational.  We attended a seminar on creating steampunk characters, which might be useful for me at some point.  We wandered around LA and took in the atmosphere.  And, best of all, we learned that my boyfriend had gotten another job after being unemployed for just two weeks.  It truly reinforced my belief in miracles.

It was hard to leave on the last day.  But, more incredibly, I was infused with a feeling that no matter what I came home to, no matter how many endless days of work stretched before me, I was ready.  I was almost eager to meet the challenge.  I was only four hundred miles from home, hardly globe trotting, and gone for less than four full days, but I felt refreshed and revitalized.

"We beat the depression for a little while," I told my boyfriend on our way home.

He laughed.  "Kicked it to the curb."

I'm going to try to make it last.



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