It's hard to remember a time when life wasn't busy, particularly in recent years since Evelyn was born and my company officially became a VC-backed startup with massive plans for growth. Throw in a family illness here and there and we always found a reason not to make the time to take a vacation.
That changed this year because I was burning the candle at both ends (perhaps trying to find ways to burn it from the middle as well). And it wasn't just me. Everyone in my family needed a break and I've learned the consequences of not listening to the warning signs from my body. Unfortunately, our dog Linus was recovering from his first of two surgeries to repair the torn ACLs in both of his back legs, so taking a legitimate vacation was out of the question. Still, we needed to do something more than just sitting at home for a week watching reality TV.
Exploring What's Always Around You
"I've explored more of Boston with my family after the graduation ceremony than I did during my four years of MIT." That was the joke/complaint because so many students (myself included) were so heads down with academics, sports, fraternity/sorority life, extracurriculars, etc. that we never stopped to smell the literal roses of the public gardens or visited a fraction of what Boston had to offer. Why would we? We were busy, and those places were always there to visit at any time. Unfortunately, we all tend to wait until we're out of time before we become tourists of our backyard.
That was another motivating factor behind this staycation. Emily and I have lived in Colorado for over six years now but never made the time to go to Colorado Springs to visit Garden of the Gods or see the Aspen trees turn gold up in the mountains. And while we ultimately still have ways to go to explore all of Colorado, we are one step closer.
There were, of course, many other scenes and memories that didn't make it to our public social media profiles. Not everything makes for a good photo, and sometimes it's more important to live in the moment instead of trying to document it.
Emily and I are so grateful that we took the plunge and made this staycation a reality this year instead of punting the time off down the road for a real vacation that was less likely to happen. To that end, we're already scheduling our next vacations and staycations out because we know how easy it is to get so caught up in the daily grind that we fail to step back and take the necessary time to recharge and explore. But if it's on the calendar, there are no excuses (well unless another major illness or injury comes up)!
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About Rick Manelius
Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.