Wise words (learned on holidays) to face the ‘rientro’

Banon benchIn Italian it’s called the ‘rientro’. In French the ‘rentrée’.

In America, where holidays are so stingy – if you’re allowed to take them at all – I doubt the term exists at all. If it did, it would be called ‘The Return’.

Back when I worked in my own country, I wasn’t familiar with this expression (or the feeling), but now that I’m accustomed to lovely, long summer holidays, I feel it (sharply) when they come to an end.

Do I ever.

After having been relaxed and out in the fresh air, that fear creeps back about once again being tied to computer screens, and e-mails and meeting after meeting. Deadlines loom and pressure begins to build up.

A good strategy is to try to return home with clear memories of that relaxation and reflective time, and to incorporate it into your daily routine as much as possible. Even if it’s only a few minutes every day.

That’s why I love this bench from the little town of Banon, in the Luberon Valley of France’s Provence region. After climbing up the steep slopes of a little hill town to reach the church, we saw this bench boasting views of the valley below. On the bench was painted the words:


Vous avez gagné

un repos bien merité

And after our efforts, we did deserve a little rest. What a thoughtful person to have put this bench and words of wisdom there. And I will remember that bench fondly now that I’m in the midst of ‘rientro’ anxiety.

Here’s wishing a little well-deserved time for reflection and rest for us all post-vacation! Buon rientro a tutti!

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