It seems as though whenever I take an extended break from programming—whether to pursue other interests or simply because I fall out of the habit for a while—I invariably find that when I return to a project and set to coding, I come with an abundance of new ideas, novel approaches, and just plain better code. It may be because I have a lot of other creative interests besides programming, and my mind likes to find correlation and crossover between them, so while I'm doing one thing, in the back of my mind I'm usually also applying it to another.
So what's your experience? Do you ever return from a break (whether intentional or not) feeling not only refreshed, but also somehow noticeably improved? Is it actually the norm?