What matters more

I used to have an action packed, booked solid vacation every time I went for a homecoming here in Manila.  I did that maybe for the first two or three times I vacationed here, making sure breakfast, coffee before lunch, lunch, merienda, dinner and drinks were covered.  I stuck to a schedule and saw as many people as I could.  I scheduled it so that venues were adjacent to each other.  I might be having breakfast in Greenbelt 1, then I move to Greenbelt 5 for lunch, etc.

It was fun and I saw a lot of friends, but I ended up terribly stressed and harrassed.  Fatigue would catch me at the end of the day and I still ended up missing an appointment or two because sometimes things got rescheduled or I missed something.

My last real vacation before this current one was December 2009.  My schedule was thrown out of whack because my father had to be rushed to the hospital before Christmas and that had me ending up staying an extra week making it a month-long vacation with Angelo.  (Alan left earlier than Angelo and me.)  I couldn’t schedule anything because my own was dependent on what was happening to my Dad and where I was needed.  I had tried going with Alan and Angelo to the Tagaytay Highlands on the invitation of Alan’s friend, but I ended up staying all night waiting for our hostess to wake up so I can have her driver bring me to town so I can go home to Dad who had to have emergency surgery.

One lesson I learned from that trip was that although I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, and I didn’t see as many people as I could have, a more fluid schedule allowed me the chance to actually enjoy my vacation more.  There was less stress, less pressure.  I allowed myself to reschedule.  Since the meet ups were not one after the other, it was easy to accommodate meetings that ran over.  If I was having fun or particularly enjoying the company of a friend or group of friends, I didn’t feel short changed as I didn’t have to cut the meetings short.

I might’ve overdone it this visit, though, as I found myself spending more time just relaxing than heading out and meeting up with friends.  I’ve even kept the meetings with relatives to the minimum.  I feel like it’s a regular vacation back in the US where I wake up at leisure and do things without any pressure.  (Save for the long lines and all the walking in DisneyWorld every time we go..)  I take it a day at a time, planning spontaneously.  Maybe it helped that everyone else has been so busy, so they haven’t been asking for time to spend together.  This has allowed me to enjoy my vacation more.

Just five more days and I go back to New York.  Leaving Manila is always bittersweet for me, but all I do is just think about the next vacation and that tides me through.

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