I've been away for a while. We recently got back from a short, but sweet trip to Culebra, Puerto Rico, and I am almost ready to face the New Year. It's great to get away from the every day grind, but going away is also useful for putting things in perspective, I think. When I get back from vacation, I find that all of my usual worries and frustrations (about work, noisy neighbors, my boyfriend hogging the computer) come flooding back. But the fact that they've been absent for a while helps me to recognize them for what they are - bad habits. I read somewhere that a person's thoughts create "tracks" of a sort in the mind and that once we have taken a certain path, we are likely to continue taking the same one over and over again. If going away to visit a new place is good for one thing, I think it's to help one learn to form new tracks.
I suffered from a bout of ennui after returning from Culebra. The beaches there were so beautiful, the views breathtaking and the weather - sunny and hot. It seemed senseless to return to the cold, to my job, to my dark little apartment. Needless to say, I had a bit of the post-vacation blahs. I received a small bonus from work and, interestingly, could think of nothing special to do with the money. I'm past thinking that any material purchases can make a lasting difference in my life or happiness. On the other hand, continuing to save for the future while getting insufficient enjoyment in the present makes little sense. So what, then, could add some zest? At first, I resolved that we would try a different restaurant and sample new fine cuisine each week. The food, I then realize, is more symbolic - I want to focus more on experiential pursuits in general. If I have to articulate a New Year's resolution, it's that I want to be constantly forming new "tracks." Alas, I think I have a goal and, for now, the cloud above my head has lifted.