Saturday, July 18, 2015

What's "vacation?"

I have this one hang-up about Forrest Gump, which is otherwise one of my favorite movies of all time: when Forrest asks his mom what vacation is (where, Forrest hears her tell the amorous school principal, his father went), she tells him it's when someone goes somewhere and doesn't ever come back.

It doesn't bug me that she gives him an alternate definition to a word in order to explain where Forrest's dad is. What bothers me is that it seems like that was deliberately placed with the intention of a later scene involving at least a mention of Forrest's misunderstanding of the word. Like, maybe Jenny needs a vacation, or Lt. Dan needs a vacation, and Forrest gets confused about what that really means. Instead, Forrest never hears anyone else use the word in any context. "Vacation" is apparently erased from his environment's vernacular.

This leads me to what "vacation" really means, from a practical standpoint, in my life: it means getting physically away from my house. I'm renting a friend's house, on a nearby pond, with my children, husband, and dog. It's going to be low-stress and tons of fun. There's a kayak, canoe, firepit, hammock (I'm totally plopping the baby in that), fishing, and more. Can you tell I'm excited?

However, some clarification is in order. While all of the above is true, I have an additional caveat to my own definition of vacation: if I have editing jobs left to do, I do them, even while on vacation. I work from home, and this is part of the price I pay. I won't have internet access this time around, but I will be able to edit, then submit to authors when I am able to access the internet.

So, perhaps my definition of vacation is close to an antonym of the one explained by Forrest's mom. Vacation, for me, seems to be something I don't ever go to all the way. I never have to think about coming back - because I'm already here.

I am going to reduce my workload, though, and have a great time with my family!

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