With the pressures of looming deadlines growing nearer, essays multiplying like bunnies, and relentless batteries of tests scheduled each day, it’s hard to believe that a full week of vacation just passed so recently. Feeling worn down, just waiting for that next day off, my exhaustion with the daily routine of early mornings and late nights of studying seems to be a common experience among my peers. Waking up with a fresh, powdery layer of snow covering the ground, the desire to have another try at our failed winter vacation is so strong that I can almost reach out and touch it. The holidays clearly fell at the wrong time of year this time around; My winter wonderland finally awaits my goofy-looking snowmen and haphazard snow angels more akin to the stark chalk marks surrounding a dead body, but no, my crazy antics will now remain absent. Snow pristine and untouched, I trudge off to catch my train, leaving all of my holiday cheer months behind me where it should have belonged.
I wish I could get excited at this long awaited natural phenomena, but now that snow appears every other day, without even been summoned by the usually stingy weatherman, I only bemoan the missing sunlight. Seasonal effective disorder is something that runs in the family to a certain extent, and while I won’t make any claims for myself, I do know that cloudy days spell cloudy moods in my book. These darned New England skies just have it in for me – Temperature aside, is a full day of bright sunlight so much to ask for?
Complaining as usual about predictions of seemingly endless overcast afternoons, I noticed a friend of mine trotting on by, inexplicably cheerful as can be. Rushing over to find out what good fortune had befallen her, she gave me a quizzical look, declaring that she was just happy since it was time for her “vacation hour.” As if this was something standard that everyone should know about, she continued on without another word and gracefully plunked herself right down… In the pot of ferns occupying a kitchen corner.
What on earth was going through her mind? After a few minutes of painfully confused contemplation, I queried her aloud, and was rather taken a back by the answer I received. “Vacation hour,” according to her, was one designated slot of time in her day that she chose to put aside her work and relax, pretending that she was hundred of miles away on some tropical beach. The fern merely provided a nice change of scenery, a backdrop if you will, for this mental excursion. How is one expected to take a break from the mundane and imagine some exotic locale while sitting in front of the same old computer screen, anyways?
I must say, with her eyes slowly closing in contentment, I could almost see her sun bathing in the warmth of some distant island sun. Had she been able to send a post card from this languid state of mind, it would have probably said “Wish I were here, really.”
As silly as she looked, sitting there in my potted plant for her designated hour of “vacation,” I must admit that she may be on to something. When can I take my “vacation hour?”