Have you met anyone recently who isn’t tired? It seems to be a national, if not international, pandemic. Most everyone is a bleary-eyed, caffeinated automaton who is putting one cranky foot down after the other. Even the kids with their over-scheduled days and burgeoning back-packs can ...
Have you met anyone recently who isn’t tired? It seems to be a national, if not international, pandemic. Most everyone is a bleary-eyed, caffeinated automaton who is putting one cranky foot down after the other. Even the kids with their over-scheduled days and burgeoning back-packs can relate.

There is some statistic about five days of not enough hours of sleep leads to day six, where your body feels as if it has pulled an all-nighter. That makes sense to me. Think of all of your good intentions to clear your desk on Friday when the office is quieter; yet, you can barely make a coherent sentence because you are so brain dead.

Now, of course, the exception to this may well be those lucky devils who are on their two week vacation, and it’s Day 10. I say Day 10 for a reason.

Remember Michael Keaton’s movie “Multiplicity”? Keaton’s character literally multiplied himself on the copy machine because he couldn’t do it all in a day – too many roles, too many tasks.

Prepping to leave the workplace, and even your home, before vacation is akin to juggling multiple flaming swords. It’s an intense, focused effort with a keep-it-all-moving strategy. One out-of-sync, descending sword-on-fire and it can get dicey. This leads to a high probability that all the flaming swords will come crashing down – on you. And, then, you can find yourself, metaphorically speaking, hoisted on your own petard with your clothing in crispy tatters and your hair smoking and singed. Not a pretty picture.

In other words, can you spell s-t-r-e-s-s? Like a row of dominoes, it all comes tumbling down. Before you even finish packing your suitcase, you are frazzled to the nth degree.

Research tells us that it takes a full 10 days for vacationers to unpretzel their knotted, stressed, overworked and travel-ambushed bodies. At which point, they can now take a full breath and not pass out from the rush of oxygen to their brains. Heaven is at hand.

And, heaven can be a relative term.

If you are a daring-and-risk-taking type, there are those outward-bound-extreme-adventure varieties of vacations where you face challenge after challenge, and your dopamine receptor sites, as well as your body, get a great workout. This is one kind of heaven. The adventure-bound eschew the serotonin-enhancing vacation ahhh’s of watching the waves on the ocean, spa treatments or settling into a hammock. Their vacation mode is go, go, go; full speed ahead; the more daring, the better. The soother-serotonin types want frosty beverages served to them from the lanai while they read a book and intermittently watch the clouds make animal shapes.

And, then, alas, there are those who have the dreaded Bad Vacation Karma (BVK). Wherever they go, whenever they go, you can be certain that there will be calamity. It does not matter what swell destination is proudly printed on their itinerary; their vacation will look like another National Lampoon movie at the very least or, at worst, a bad episode of Survivor. No electricity, hunkered down in a shelter, stranded in an airport while their luggage bobs in the ocean or gets a tan on the tarmac. They come home with nary a souvenir, but plenty of great believe-it-or-not disaster stories.

Whatever your personality type and preference, the mere thought of a scheduling a vacation usually brings a smile to the face.

Today, given gas prices and the economic riptides of the financial markets, the new word for vacation is “staycation.” That’s right; you make your hometown and neighboring communities your holiday destination. It’s a clever thought; practical, too.

Think of the possibilities: You can high dive off your roof. You can unearth the ossified treasures from the depths of your basement-cum-rain forest. You can actually visit all those neat places in your area that only the visitors see.

And you can … are you ready? You can take a nap – a real, live snoozle in the sanctuary of your home and your familiar surroundings. You can sink into your very own, dream-encrusted, comfy-cozy bed. Ahhhh, that’s heaven.

Or, even better, you can be very audacious, forego the “to do’s” and try a mid-day nap on the couch. You can stretch out, position the pillows and find the groove to release and relax and slide into the land of nod. The thought is enough to make a grown person swoon with the delight for the sheer extravagance of time and pleasure.

On that note, I am plumping my couch cushions and gearing up for little down time. I am going to take my grumpy, crabby, overtired self on “staycation” and try a home-brewed nap.

Meet you in the dream state.

© copyright 2008 by Adele Ryan McDowell

Author's Bio: 

Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is a psychologist, empath, and shaman who likes looking at life with the big viewfinder. Her website is www.channeledgrace.com; her e-mail address is channeledgrace@aol.com.