I always greatly anticipate vacation. I plan and save and schedule and make itineraries and build the whole thing up in my mind because what’s better than a break from real life once in a while. My one expectation from time away is that I will Fill The Well. Filling The Well, to me, is the practice of recharging, restoring, replenishing, reinstating all of the energy that the daily grind has taken from you; relighting your spark.
I am a planner so virtually everything we do on vacation is planned in advance. Not because I’m not spontaneous but because there are so many things to see and do in the world, I don’t want to miss a thing. Researching a place I’ve never been before creates this mysticism about it. By the time we get there I am certain there is a revelatory experience, some epiphany, just waiting for me to unlock in this magical place. Maybe it’s unrealistic but I truly do have the expectation that all experiences outside of my regular old home-turf bubble will add some significant meaning to my life. That time away will be more than just a break from work and the mundane, that it will change me in some way. And that this change will help me Fill The Well.
We just got back from vacation and upon returning I realized that I was exhausted. I did so much that I never rested at all. I know it’s the nature of a road trip – to constantly be going and moving – but I felt regretful, like maybe I didn’t fill my well. We’re not typically people that sit still on vacation so we don’t plan them that way. However, we did have a few breaks of downtime on our trip and I found myself relishing in them. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every single thing we did on our trip (and I can’t wait to share my recap posts with you next week), I just realized that relaxation and stillness is as crucial to Filling The Well as activity and new experiences.
I also realized that routine might also be just as important to Filling The Well too. Routine is the exact reason we all need vacation, right? I have such a love/hate relationship with them but towards the end of our vacation I actually missed my routine. I missed my kitchen, my gym, my bed. I love this quote by Haruki Murakami who argues that his routine helps him mesmerize himself into a deeper state of mind, to gain mental and physical strength by holding repetition for so long. It makes me wonder if Filling The Well is just a search for something deeper, something more meaningful than what is experienced in everyday life.
In the end, like everything else, I realized that Filling The Well is about balance. I will always rely on vacation to be relaxing and restorative, but I’m hoping to find ways to Fill The Well each and every day.