Maybe you’ve heard, we’ve just finished up a spectacular triennial gathering in Spokane. More than 2,000 women attended the event and from all we’ve heard, they had a wonderful time. I was one of 13 staff members who helped with the event, and I’ve got to tell you, I’m not getting any younger. I was whipped by the end of it.
So when my husband suggested we meet up in Salt Lake City after the triennial and drive to Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons, I was, to say the least, hesitant. Sightseeing and hiking or, really, even talking, were not on my post–triennial agenda. A soothing bubble bath and a rough massage would have been more to my liking.
Even when I’m fresh and renewed, I view vacations with some trepidation. Sure, it’s fun to get away, visit new countries, see ancient buildings, eat new food. But it’s not what you call…relaxing.
Vacations are not for wimps.
Even vacations where you hope to relax require planning and scheduling and, worst of all, packing. Camping vacations are often the worst. You have to pack up a whole household—kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom—and take it along with you. No relaxation there. If you fish, you’ve got to clean those critters before you eat them. Then you have to wash up the dishes. If you water ski, you’ve got to haul a boat behind your trailer, find a place to stick it in the water, keep it afloat.
Maybe vacations are harder on women. We often get stuck with the pre-vacation strategic planning. I don’t have children, only dogs, but I still have to figure out who’s going to care for them, make out a list for their food and pills and snacks and sleeping arrangements. Then worry about them the whole time I’m gone.
If I take a stay-cation–stay at home rather than traipsing off somewhere–then I find myself working around the house rather than relaxing.
While I haven’t found the perfect vacation, I did have a lovely time at Yellowstone, despite being worn out. I saw some amazing sites: geysers and waterfalls and buffalo and even a black bear.
Vacations seem to be for the hardy. Have you ever taken a vacation where you truly relaxed?
Terri Lackey is managing editor of Gather, the magazine of Women of the ELCA.