The meaning of a vacation changes completely when you don’t have an actual job. Vacation is no longer that much needed respite from the drudgery of the daily office grind. It isn’t a time to rest and recharge. I rest and recharge every single morning as I lie in bed until ten, surrounded by cats and podcasts.

I remember when I was working. On occasion, I would have to leave the office on some sort of errand, and as I drove around town, I marveled at all those people driving past me in their cars. They were free! I wondered what it would be like not to spend the entire day behind a desk, answering phone messages, pounding away at my computer, and producing stuff.

Now, I get up in the morning, I get dressed, but thank God I don’t have to put on panty hose, a business suit, and accessorize. I gave all my strands of pearls away. But I digress. I put on clothes-nothing that is in any way fashionable or tight around my waist. I then get coffee and my computer, and I pound away at it, producing stuff. But here is the thing: I don’t have to! I can go out to lunch! Watch a movie on demand! Read a book instead of writing one! Walk a dog. Window shop!. I am free!

So. We leave on Saturday for a ten day vacation. Sidebar:  If you are a robber, don’t come over, because we will have a Pitbull sometimes in residence, and the other times there will be ferocious neighbors. Vacation. What does that mean? It means lying in bed until ten, having brunch, playing with my grandchildren, Cards for Humanity after they go to bed, veering wildly off my low-carb diet, and doing all of this in another state.

It isn’t a time to unwind from the stress of my daily life. It isn’t a recharge. It is a chance to reconnect with my daughter, her kids, my extended family, and a different bed. It is not a necessary sanity break. It’s so much better than that. And the very best thing about vacations these days?

I don’t dread coming home and getting back to “normal life.” The last day of my vacation is as carefree as the first. Because I no longer have a daily grind.

Getting old. It’s an enviable situation.

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