Home and Post-Vacation Blues

Well, we are back from our vacation. We brought back some great memories, a bunch of dirty laundry, and post-vacation blues (PVB). It’s a thing. You can find numerous articles online trying to explain it. Symptoms include mental exhaustion, irritability, sadness, anxiety and lack of motivation.

I can relate to the sadness. The last thing I do at Lake George is drive the boat back to the boat ramp (about 2 miles away). I take my time, drinking in the sights and smells and sounds of the lake one last time. And I feel a deep, deep, sadness. I usually tear up and get watery eyes just thinking about it now. The sadness isn’t because I dread going home – but because I hate to leave it. Somehow, the time spent there, engulfed in the beauty of the place, sharing it with those I love, free from the stress and pressures of normal life – it feels like my true home, the place I was made for. The place where my body and soul find deep satisfaction and rest. It feels like shalom.

Many people experience PVB because they hate their job or their ‘normal’ life. That’s not the case for me at all. I love my work and I feel incredibly blessed in my normal life. It’s just not home – not in that deep sense. Normal life, in this present evil age with a not-yet-perfected self, is a life filled with stress, conflict, loss, fear, weariness, anxiety, etc. Normal work is filled with thorns and thistles – and something deep within me longs for beauty and for deep body and soul rest. That’s why I cry a little when I must leave the place where I experience a taste of it. It feels like leaving what I was made for.

So how do you cure PVB? You don’t cure it. You learn to live with it. In fact, you embrace it. Post-vacation blues are telling us something true, something we easily forget in the frantic pace of life: this life we call ‘normal’ isn’t home. We really are pilgrims. We live in this fallen world as “strangers and exiles”, seeking the city that is eternal and the land that is truly home (Hebrews 11:13-14).

For a child of God, post-vacation blues (PVB) are actually pre-glory longings (PGL). In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul confesses that he would prefer to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord.” That’s how we live in this world – with our hearts longing for our true home with Jesus. That’s where eternal beauty and love and rest will all culminate in the soul’s deepest possible joy and satisfaction.

This is what life with PGL looks like: be thankful for the daily blessings of ‘normal’ life. Trust that the Lord is with you in the trials. But don’t be ashamed to shed tears wrung from a heart aching for true home. Don’t apologize for longing for the place where you will gather with those you love best, engulfed in the beauty of Jesus and the new world He has created for you. It honors the One who has promised it and it prepares you for the experience of it. Blessed are the hungry, they shall be filled.


Recommended Reading

· Hebrews 11

· What Happens After I Die, by Michael Allen Rogers

· Heaven, by Randy Alcorn


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