I’ve been on vacation at the beach this week.
We have a timeshare that we’ve used every year since out girls were young. It’s the perfect place to read, kick back and relax. Our deck overlooks the sound and my favorite time is morning, when it’s quiet and I can sit on the deck with a gentle breeze blowing, sipping coffee and reading in the early morning quiet.
Over the years we’ve developed traditional things we do every year—as soon as we get down here we eat at a restaurant called Henry’s (we had a cat named Henry, so it’s special to us), we always go to a movie, always play Putt-Putt golf, always go out for my husband’s birthday to Bob’s Grill (Eat and Get the Hell Out. Plus pool and beach time of course. And shopping at our favorite little shopping center. The main thing is that we do all this as a family.
This year has been a bit different. First, our older daughter is not with us—she’s attending a pre-college program with classes every day. Our younger daughter, therefore, got to bring two friends so the three sixteen year olds have been a lot on their own. But it’s still strange not to have just us at the beach. Just as strange was the fact that we didn’t all go to the same movie this year. We wanted to see Men in Black 3, but it wasn’t playing. So my husband went to see Spiderman and I took the girls to see Magic Mike. I was a bit leery at first, but they were very quiet during the movie, though to hear them talk afterwards they really enjoyed it. LOL
But the biggest difference this year was my attitude. This was the first year I’d come here when I was more interested in writing than in vacation. Last year I was at a seminar in DC and didn’t come. The year before I wasn’t published, nor on writer’s loops. But this year I felt the strain of wanting to work while everyone else was on vacation. I actually only got out on the deck one morning—it used to be all seven days. I don’t read as much as I used to (one summer I read 6 Harry Potters and three Twilights during our week). I don’t go to the beach, when I used to put up a Shelta Hut and camp out all day, reading and playing in the water. Some of it is age, I’m sure. But a lot of it isn’t.
I feel guilty now if I’m not writing or promoting my work. Is that wrong? Do writers actually take voluntary vacations from writing? Am I the anomaly or the rule?
After I post this I’m going to grab a cold drink, go out on the deck, open my Kindle and try to recapture the spirit of vacation I’ve sort of lost. Wish me luck!