Down Time


Sentences have periods.  Sports teams call time out.   Juries have deliberation rooms.  Religion has meditation.  Music has pauses.  Universities provide professors sabbaticals.  God rested on the seventh day.

Given these illustrations for the necessity of repose and respite, why do you suppose some people travel as if a holiday is a job?  Rushing from one location to another, some pilgrims fail to enjoy the scene in front of them.  They fail to appreciate their moment or hour or week of reprieve from the frenzy of life.  They return home un-rejuvenated, more tired than when they left.

Leisure is unthinkable to those who are addicted to work, schedules and to do lists.  Naps?  Not in this lifetime.  They may even joke about it: “There will be time enough for sleep when I’m dead.”  You hear people talking about taking a few days off to get over their trip.

On some trips, the “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” syndrome cannot be avoided.  That’s the rhythm of life.  Teachers and coaches have seasons when they work non-stop.  Most businesses and a lot of travel experiences have phases with an up-tempo and other periods with a more relaxed pace.

Within reason, anybody can do anything they choose to do on a vacation, as long as they can afford it and it’s legal.  But there seem to be built-in laws of nature that suggest that sometimes “less is more.”  George Clooney, who directed the story of Edward R. Murrow, Good Night and Good Luck, reflected on the main character, “We realized the less he said, the more powerful he became.” 

Sherlock Holmes, in The Man with the Twisted Lip, said, “You have the grand gift of silence, Watson.  It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”

The theme holds. 

Even a nursery rhyme tells us, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

A rhythm that includes space and time for rest and relaxation is a law of life, especially when you are on holiday.


Categories: Health, Holiday, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Down Time

  1. Marion, Dr T and I are back home after a month on the road in Alaska and the Far West. It was a very good trip, no real glitches, lots of real estate ( a 3500 mile road trip from Seattle to CO Springs, not direct obviously). We saw lots of places that we do not want to go back to such as eastern Oregon (altho Walla Walla has over 40 wineries), southern Idaho or northern Arizona. Monument Valley is 250 miles of poor Indians and nothing else. NOTHING. If you’re looking for a John Wayne movie set there, disabuse yourself of the notion.
    HOWEVER, the entire trip was worth the discovery of the Oregon coast and Taos NM. We plan to go back to each place and rent a condo for a month either in the early spring or late fall. Al

    PS – MOST IMPORTANT learning experience of the trip. Buy a lifetime Senior National Park Pass for $10. Every national park out west has an entrance fee of $25. If you’re having a crappy morning, not having to pay an entrance fee of $25 at 0900 will perk you right up. What a deal.

    • Glad you are back in the Southeast. I have never been to the Northwest, Al, but it is on my bucket list. Thanks for your suggestions. I will get the $10 senior pass to the National Parks. I didn’t know about that.
      Speaking of Monument Valley and “poor Indians,” one of the most depressing trips of my life was through the Pine Ridge area on the way to Wounded Knee. The experience was painful.

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