The “V” in Vermont stands for Vacation


Snowing for 3 days straight
Snowing for 3 days straight

Random Observation/Comment #119: When I was growing up, I’ve always felt awkward addressing elders.  I was taught to refer to them as Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so, but it was always received with really weird looks.  I could imagine how much this makes the parent feel so much older than they want to.  If I were called mister right now, I’m not sure if I’d be sad or angry.  Most probably, I would freeze and reflect on an old memory.  I would travel back to that time I first called a friend’s Dad, “Mister.”  He smiled, but said in a very serious voice, “We’re going to have a problem if you keep calling me by my dad’s name.  Call me Stu.”  It was scary, yet an epic moment in my life.  I will most probably adopt this concept when (or if) I grow up.  Parents are a little more flexible, but then what about grandparents?  I feel like their generation would appreciate the formalities, but on the other hand, wouldn’t it be nice if I could also call them grandma and grandpa?  They’ve been such good hosts that I feel like I’m part of the family, but when is it okay to cross that boundary with those words?  Am I intruding into another person’s family?  I think I could be hanged for high treason in friendship-terms, if this were the case.  I guess now that I’m passed 20, I should take on the more mature role of speaking on even ground.  Calling someone by their first name seems neutral and probably not over-analyzed.  To me, I just want it to convey the fact that I’m asserting a balanced friendship of peers.  Interestingly enough, if we all age at the same rate, then that must mean that the age range of peers begins to increase as you get older.  Will there be a time where I can consider my parents a part of my peers?  I would probably be using it for stature and mentality instead of age group.  Maybe I’ve just given all this way too much thought.  Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Grandparents.

The long weekend of skiing and lounging was everything I hoped it would be.  My thighs were sore and the small blister on my foot showed no mercy.  I couldn’t lift my arms above shoulder-height and I literally (well not literally) felt the fat accumulate as I lazed in front of the television.  We watched the food network and fell asleep in the middle of Iron Chef.  If we were conscious, it could have constituted as a homosexual moment.  A few pillows separated between James’ head and Jake’s ass, and a sofa cushion separated between my head and James’ ass.  Imagine, if you will, a chain of completely exhausted men snoring like babies.  I bet it would look much cuter if we were all little, fluffy puppies.  It’s alright; I think someone called “no homo.”

I don’t remember the last time I sat on the couch and just watched movies without a worry on my mind.  We had no desire to do anything or go anywhere.  It was just beautiful being a couch potato.  Long hours typing away in front of the computer has left me begging for some horizontal time on a nice couch.  I brought my laptop with me to Vermont, but the urge to take it out of my bag for writing entries or working on my thesis had been replaced with an excruciating amount of sloth.  I was so lazy, I didn’t even analyze each movie’s underlying message to the public.  It’s been a hobby of mine to step into the director’s and producer’s train of thought.  I wonder about the camera angles and try to reason why different scenes were done that specific way.  With some practice, it’s easy to see the subtle foreshadowing or an emphasis on the movie’s life-advice to the viewers.  In fact, I judge much of the movie’s awesome-ness or sucki-ness by these qualities.  I take the movie for its intended role; in other words, not all genres should be judged with the same eye.  Anyway, after watching 5 movies over the weekend, I left with very little opinion of the movie’s quality.  I could say that it was funny and enjoyable to watch, but the small details I usually notice just faded with complete blackouts in my memory.

The vacation from my work became a vacation from my mind.  I reacted to this ongoing observation much differently than I first perceived.  At first, I thought I needed a vacation away from thinking about the simulations on my thesis and racing against deadlines to have a fulfilling life, but now I see that my busy nights and days kept my brain alive.  I admit that I was a little exhausted from the over-exertion, but the under-exertion from a brain-numb vacation was not my solution either.  In fact, I found that I rather have a tired brain than a useless one.

To all extremes, the over-usage and under-usage of the mind is unhealthy.  The balance must be met at a healthy dosage with what I see as an “Asteroids problem.”  That arcade game’s ship was difficult to maneuver due to the single thruster and a body that maintained its momentum.  To steer more accurately, small thruster bursts would be needed to keep the ship steady while avoiding hazards.  With my mind, this works on the same 2D plane, but each side represents a section of a pie chart separating the important functions of the mind.  A boost in one direction may steer off-course, therefore a balancing boost in the opposite direction is needed to successfully complete tasks.  At the end of the day, you want to stay in the center to reduce stress, but often we’re drifting in one sector more than another.  As a solution, we need to find the type of balance booster activities that fit our stress.  A vacation lounging on a couch or on a beach should not solve every stress problem.

I have not clearly identified the sectors in my mind’s pie chart, nor have I found the different types of vacations that balance these stresses, but I suspect that this concept is a reasonable way to reduce stress.  Every brain has different preferences, so this is in no way a guide to help cure any problems.  Take this as just simple advice: Pay attention to your life to find happiness and maintain healthiness.  I look forward to taking more vacations to find what replenishes the most energy.

~See Lemons Escaping Reality

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