This summer was a whirlwind.
Granted, it was a beautiful, amazing, happy whirlwind… but a whirlwind nonetheless. I figured out that in the 12 weeks of what you might call “traditional summer” (June, July, August), I was home for a grand total of 3 of them.
The best part? I didn’t plan it that way. It just sort of… happened.
And, full disclaimer: I have zero complaints about traveling that much (except, perhaps, that I didn’t get to clean my apartment nearly as much as I might have liked).
I love to travel. I love to be on the move. I love experiencing everything from the most touristy spot in Times Square to the random little coffee shop across from the Eiffel Tower to the best-kept secret resort in the Ohio River valley. I think travel is one of the most rewarding experiences we can have as human beings, and I absolutely plan on continuing to make it a priority.
But this summer also taught me about something else, something entirely unexpected, and something equally as important to maintaining a balanced, fulfilled, and healthy life:
It seems that, especially in the social media age, being exhausted and overbooked has become trendy. I’ll admit that I feed into this phenomenon, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing. In fact, I’ve read many articles about the dangers of glorifying exhaustion (check some out here, or here, if you’re interested). While many of these articles talk to the plight of an overstretched college student, I have definitely seen this trend rolling over into my adult years, and those of my friends.
Between work, networking, overbooked social schedules, and an attempt at staying fit (or whatever other activities are peppering our planners)… we’re all just entirely too exhausted for twenty-somethings.
And, sometimes, I fear that it will do exactly what some of those articles say, and lead to an early-life crisis.
I ask you: what’s the glory in that?
When I was younger, I used to get so annoyed that my mom only let me have one sleepover per weekend. And, sometimes, if she thought I’d been too social lately, I wasn’t allowed to have any. I thought it entirely unfair, in my surly, stubborn, teenager-y way. But now? Now I live for the weekend nights where my boyfriend and I get to do nothing, where we sit on the couch and marathon Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean… and I appreciate my mom’s logic in keeping me home occasionally more than ever.
I’m not saying that I have to, or even want to, do nothing every weekend.
But I am learning to appreciate the weekends that I get to do exactly that. It’s the perfect chance to hit pause, recharge, and just appreciate all of the travel and times that have brought you here, to this moment of much-needed rest and relaxation.
After all, it’s all about balance. You won’t appreciate travels if you’re far too exhausted to enjoy them, just like you won’t appreciate rest if you’re too bored to think straight.
This summer has brought into perspective, more than ever, the idea of balance, and how key it is to truly enjoying the finer things in life. And now, even as I eagerly anticipate the upcoming onslaught of holiday happenings that will commence come October, I’m more than happy to take a few weeks to just… r e l a x.
I encourage you to do the same.