The Vacation Questions

Consider this the vacation issue.

 I just spent a couple of days in Amsterdam.

 A room in the magnificent Hotel Pulitzer, window looking out over The Prinsengracht, a superb feast of Turkish meze in the Jordaan, richly stimulating conversations with my friends Melanie and James Roche.

Amsterdam perfection.

And yet, I’m not one of those people who crave a vacation.

What makes our spirits soar? A change of scenery? Or the events that occur within the scenery we know?

The view of The Prinsengracht. The unceasing stream of bicyclists chasing their destination. The sight of families sprawled on houseboat decks, doing nothing at all.

Those were my Amsterdam delights.

The hypnotic music of Giant Guerilla Panda Dub Squad and Lilly Wood and The Prick, my favorites this month.

My musical delights.

They help my spirit soar, anywhere. In Amsterdam. On the train to the Frankfurt airport. Back in my office in Hollywood/Florida where I jot down these note

The gift of a vacation is the absence of routine.

The gift of the everyday is the presence of routine.

The beauty of routine is that action comes with a measure of predictability. Predictability requires us to think less intently about what it is we do. Our thought energy is free to think of other things.

We are free to richly inhabit the scenery we know.

I contemplate this as I watch the ticket-seller in the tram in Amsterdam, perched in her corner cubicle in the middle tram car, selling ticket after ticket, handing back change, sitting in silence as the tram hurtles toward the next stop.

When you’re a ticket-seller on an Amsterdam tram, the answer invariably is other people.

For the rest of us, we richly inhabit our scenery through this trifecta:

Our thoughts. The events that occur around us. And yes, other people.

Those options are always the same.

Our thoughts. The events that occur around us. Other people.

No vacation needed to enjoy these routine adventures. 

I will continue to take vacations even though I don’t crave them.

And since I live in a resort town where people come to vacation, I will continue to interrupt my routine often and indulge in the delights of the beach.

But here is what I will consider this week as I return to work.

How will I richly inhabit my routines? How will I help my spirit soar within the scenery I know?

And I will pay close attention to the trifecta.

My thoughts. The events that occur around me. Other people.

They are the secret doors to my everyday-vacation-adventures.

Always. Everywhere.