Today marks the start of Lent, which for many Catholics indicates the beginning of a 40-day stretch of self-denial and sacrifice. Though I am not Catholic, the onset of Lent encourages me to engage in self-examination. What is out of balance in my life? Which habits hold too much power over me? What would I prefer to invest my energies in, and what should I let go? (blah, blah, blah…)
To find clarity on these issues, it is most helpful to first overindulge. Hence, Mardi Gras.
Overindulge, I did. Just a week ago, I went to Las Vegas with a group of friends. I took one photo, and no video, which is fine with me–although it makes for a blog post that is visually dull. (Am I the last hold-out who believes that what happens in Vegas should stay there?!)
|The lone photo I took in Vegas, during a freak, but brief, rainstorm.
The debauchery is best left undocumented.
Photo by Charish Badzinski
Let’s face it; no one should be able to fulfill their every want every day of their lives; it’s unhealthy. Our history as humans has proven when we have such an option, we often indulge to the point of self-destruction. But just five days of doing, seeing, eating, drinking and partaking in your every whim? Relatively harmless. So, you want to play the Keno numbers or pull an all-nighter? Big deal. Want to sip on a cocktail at 9 a.m. or sing at the top of your lungs, off-key, in public? Revel in the inherent naughtiness. Want to zip-line over the crowds and neon lights of Freemont Street? Go for it. Desire an hour massage, non-stop entertainment, the thrill of dancing in a pimped-out limo bus? Shine on, you crazy diamond.
It’s good to be bad. Because when the buzz of overindulgence has worn off, you actually start to miss the sanity and simplicity of your everyday life. After just a few days of doing whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted it, our group started talking lustfully about lentils and brown rice. We hungered for vegetables. We dreamed of quiet rooms undisturbed by the constant ding-ding-ding of slots. We craved water and exercise and blissful, restful sleep.
Call it the yin and yang of travel. In the end, we arrived home exhausted and used up, and ready to get back to good. Some of us have sworn off drink or sugars or bread for Lent. Others have rededicated ourselves to exercise or healthier habits. Somehow, overdoing it in Vegas underscores our resolve.
Though I must admit, I miss that limo bus.
What’s your favorite naughty getaway?