Daily Archives: June 15, 2010

Some thoughts on Vacational (?) Thinking

We think differently – or aim to – when we go on vacation. in fact, if I go
on vacation and find myself still thinking about my day to day
preoccupations, I feel I have failed to take a proper vacation. To me,
vacational thinking can be thinking whereby I forget my day to day cares
for a period of time and with any luck I think instead about special things
that I might not normally think about. It’s not enough to attend an art
gallery or a restaurant or a performance in another place, I have to think
that it is something special and unique in some way and my thinking
reflects that.

But there is another aspect of this thinking, too. With vacational thinking
your brain operates in a less (or sometimes more) excited state than your
day to day state. Your thinking may relax on vacation. Or if you are going
someplace exciting, you mental state may be excited. Either way, it is
likely a break from your typical emotional state.

I thought of this because I have been planning my summer vacation, and even
if I don’t go any where, I plan to shift my way of thinking when I am on
vacation as well as my mental state. But I also plan to think like I am
some place special, even if I am going to a cafe or an art gallery or a
park in Toronto. I am going to think: if I was in Florence or Paris or San
Francisco or Miami, how would I be thinking about that experience right
now? Or, right now I am sitting on my porch and the weather reminds me of
being in Florence ages ago and I am trying to recall how I felt about those
nights in that city. To make myself appreciate the beauty and the
specialness of where I am, even if it is home for me.

When I moved to Toronto from Cape Breton, people would always tell me how
beautiful my first home was. I never really appreciated that until I
travelled to other places and then travelled back to Cape Breton. It hadn’t
changed much, but my mental state and way of thinking did. I could
appreciate the beauty of something that I used to experience all the time
because I changed my mind. I had achieved vacational thinking.

this morning I was planning to be late for work. I took the time to have a
coffee at a cafe. For the few minutes I was getting my coffee while
watching some World Cup play, I could imagine I didn’t have to go to work
(for no one else there looked like they had to go to work either) and
instead I imagined that I was on vacation. It was an oasis of calm thinking
in an otherwise hectic day. If your days are the same, I recommend take
micro vacations at the very least ehenever you can. It will benefit you
more than you can imagine.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. May you have many frequent
vacations soon.
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Sent from my BlackBerry Handheld.

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