Sunday, June 28, 2009

When a Vacation Doesn't Feel Like a Vacation

I took a much needed trip back to Denver this past weekend, mostly to get away from the heat and pressure of my life in Chicago. Things have been crazy hectic, and I don't see them letting up much this summer. So a long weekend home to visit my family, relax, get a haircut--which was desperately needed,--and escape the stress of work seemed like a great idea.
Unfortunately, the weekend did not go exactly as I had planned. Right before I left, I was informed by my university that one of my immunizations had expired and I needed to get a booster tetanus shot before next week. The only time available, however, to get the shot was when I was home. So I had to make a last minute--super early in the morning--appointment to get a shot. (By the way, I despise shots, probably one of my biggest fears, so needless to say I was not very happy about this situation.) Once I was injected with my immunization, I headed on over to the hair salon. This was one of the high points in my trip. Let's just say my hair had quickly turned into a mop of dry brittleness and it needed some attention. So it got colored and chopped, and it certainly feels like a weight--literally--has been lifted off my shoulders.
But in the back of my mind, there was the reality that I had a freelance article due to be posted that day, and I still hadn't finished the last paragraph. I had plans with my mom to go shopping--something that is somewhat of a tradition of ours--and I wanted to enjoy it without worrying about my deadline. So I wandered around Cherry Creek and helped her buy shoes--and of course got some for myself. There was still plenty of time when we were finished to get home, finish the article, and submit it. But the weather didn't want to cooperate. It started to downpour just as we were checking out of our last store. The car was more than two blocks away, and we figured we could run. But then the tornado sirens began to sound, and we thought better of venturing outside.
I did finish my article, and I got it published. But as I wiped the sweat from my brow, I glanced at the clock and knew I had to change quickly and run downtown to meet some friends from college. This was yet another thing to try to tackle--seeing friends while I was home. But 2 1/2 days does not give you nearly enough time to see everyone and do everything you want. But I made the effort as much as I could.
I enjoyed my time at home--part of me didn't want to leave--and I was able to have a good time catching up with my family. But despite the moments of relaxation and peace, my trip was more packed with schedules and obligations than I would have liked. It was almost a trip I needed a vacation after. But now it is back to the real world, back to my life in Chicago.

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