Vacation. Summer vacation. These used to be common words in my vocabulary. And not too long ago.
Now I never utter the “v” word. I hear it spoken all around me, but my vacation comes but once a year.
I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. Believe me, I have plenty of friends out of work right now who would be delighted to work their tushies off if it meant money coming in. I am, and have always been, grateful for my job, throughout the years, and I enjoy working hard. I guess it’s just that vacation ain’t what it used to be.
In the olden days, a.k.a. in my youth before employment, vacation was a long-awaited reward. And it was a LONG reward. In college, my summer vacations were often around three months long. In effect, I had a quarter of the year off to go swimming and visit friends and sleep in. Now I have about one-fifty-second off a year.
Counting down to “The Week”
After nine long months of working, vacation cannot come soon enough. But, unlike the days of yore, when the date alone signaled the start of vacation, this time there is much to do. As someone who doesn’t have a direct fill-in for my job, I cannot leave my duties to another person, or to chance. I must ensure everything in my power has been done to prepare for my time away. This feels like taking on a second fulltime job the month before the vacation. I’m working at night, on weekends, on vacation preparation, just to ensure I am fully relaxed and calm once I leave the desk.
Will it all be worth it? I read somewhere it takes about two to three days to filly unwind and relax. In that case, I had better concentrate hard on relaxing early on so I can have a few full days of relaxation. I honestly believe that vacation is necessary to ensure the brain doesn’t explode from overstimulation. This year, I am going to Madrid: I hope to drink some brain lubricants, in the form of sangria or similar, to ensure this relaxation state.
While I have friends relaxing all around me while I’m working day and night at the computer, I feel no envy. At least this time around, I will know that I have truly earned my time off.