When You've Got Post-Vacation Blues
We were an hour on the road and I was already feeling it — the post-vacation blues.
Maybe it was the fact I was dead tired after a week of sharing a beach house with our large family and their many children or that our four-month-old was incessantly crying from the backseat. Maybe it was the thought of the laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning that was waiting for me or knowing that my husband was going back to work in the morning while the kids and I would return to our everyday mundane routine.
Whatever the reason, dread and sadness were quickly overwhelming me, threatening to rob me of the joy I had just been filled with while we were away. I couldn’t help but wonder if the trip was even worth the long, hard drive and the cold slap to the face of coming home.
How am I going to get through this week? Through the rest of the year? Through this tough season of our lives?
As we continued on our way back to reality, I silently prayed and asked God to give me strength for what’s ahead, and as I prayed I began to remember what really is waiting for me at home. Yes, there is the mountain of laundry and an empty fridge needing to be restocked. The disciplining and diaper changing. The loneliness of taking care of the kids on my own.
But there is also the magic in the mundane — moments easily overlooked as they happen, but some of the sweetest memories when we look back.
I loved watching my toddler dip her toes in the ocean and fill her pail with sand, but I have loved watching her splash at the pool and play in the sandbox in our backyard just as much. Seeing the sun rise over the water and hearing the sound of splashing waves can’t compare to the sights and sounds of laughter from our tickle fights at home with Daddy. As romantic as our long walk on the beach at sunset was, I have had sweeter, more intimate moments with my husband while tangled up in the sheets in our own bed.
And even though there’s some things about a vacation that are hard to enjoy anywhere else, like the scent of saltwater and the feeling of sand between your toes, there are some pretty great moments we experience in our everyday mundane lives — milestones and first words, the excitement of Daddy returning home from work, watching our favorite show after successfully putting the kids down — that simply are best enjoyed at home.
Getting away for a time is a treat, but our real life is where the magic happens.
Lose sight of that and the post-vacation blues hit like a tidal wave. But set your mind on things above, the gifts and blessings amidst the mundane from the Lord, and you’ve got enough joy to get you through not just this week or the rest of the year, but through the entirety of this beautiful, brutal season of caring for little ones and all the hard work it entails.
I don’t know about you, but while I wait for my next big trip, I want to start leaning into — not escaping — my everyday life and let God reveal even more of his goodness and presence right where I’m already at.