Katie’s Corner – Last weekend, I took a much-needed two day “vacation” to visit my cousin, Colleen, in Connecticut. I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I got there, but it felt good to get away. Really, really good. Now, I love my home in Western Mass, especially because of all the wonderful people I am fortunate enough to interact with everyday. But I also recognize that I tend to grow blinders out of the sides of my face to what else the world has to offer when I take no time to look up. I imagine many of you are the same in that regard. Traveling elsewhere though, even if for a short while, can really put the rest of life into perspective.
We went out on the town and got to people-watch all the newly-returned Yalies, danced to some killer beats by a live DJ with flashing strobes all around us, went paddle boarding, ate Mexican, got pedicures, hiked around a beautiful lake, took all the back roads we could with the doors and top off of her new Jeep, and ate Mexican again (because it’s our favorite).
Somehow with Colleen, our seemingly benign experiences always turn into ridiculous adventures, and this trip was no different. For instance, at the dance club, in the horde of students, a man who resembled Mr. Miyagi and who must’ve been the age of no-less-than-72 was bouncing up and down to the beat of the music with his eyes closed and an energy that screamed, “I’m on acid.” When we were driving around, we house-hunted for our dream home among the sea of mansions, owned by the likes of Phil Donahue and Oprah. We caught the full moon over a lighthouse in the harbor. As we traversed the Long Island Sound with our paddle boards, we happened upon a wedding in the backyard and we (carefully) danced to the live band’s music.
Because I took a step out of my normal (and no less wonderful) life for a short period of time, my creative, silly-natured spark returned. My blinders lifted and I experienced life in a way that only vacations will allow for. As you fall back into your routines of school, work, and family, I encourage you to take a vacation of sorts, whether it’s a week or it’s a couple of hours, doing something spontaneous and out of the ordinary. Be silly. Be free. Do that which will feed your soul in some way, and subsequently feel your blinders lift.