Today is my last day at work before two weeks of vacation time. I can tell you I’m quite looking forward to the days of waking up and not immediately looking at the clock to see if I need to get up or not.
Now most days I confess I’m awake quite early; around 5:00 a.m. even though I don’t have to leave the house until 6:30 a.m. However, I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that I’m sleeping later, and one morning recently woke up only to see the clock tell me it was 6:20 a.m. So yes, it will be a welcome change to move from sleep to consciousness and not have to open the eyeballs if I don’t feel like it and just lie there blissfully in those moments between.
I love my job you know. I find it greatly satisfying in most respects, and I look forward to coming into work and helping others as an Employment Counsellor. I confess however that having some time to spend doing whatever I and my wife wish is time I’m looking forward to. And I think that’s the key that is most telling; I’m not looking to ‘get away from work’ the way some people express it. No, I’m looking forward to spending my days doing things we’d both most like to do. In short, I’m not running away from my job as much as I am running towards the vacation.
I think this is the key to strive for in a world where working full-time is the norm. Work provides us with purpose and income; income then provides us with the means to live as we choose. If you are fortunate enough to find a job that suits you and fulfills you, challenges you and stimulates you, then you’re happy to work and find meaning in what you do. Vacations then become time to spend with family, travel, kick back, relax, see and do things you don’t usually get the opportunity to do.
Contrast this with the person who has a job they feel tied to. The job is a burden, the daily trip to and from work from home a labour and the work itself a seeming sentence. Life seems more a treadmill; get up, get out, check in, work, check out, go home, sleep, repeat. A vacation to someone who has come to see things this way is like being let out on parole. At some point during the early days of the vacation, the person is already experiencing anxiety about the dwindling number of days they’ve got until they return to work and on the first day back they’re looking at the calendar counting the weeks until the next vacation.
That’s no way to live a life don’t you think? Some might argue that we’ve got it all wrong; that we should have 5 months of work and 7 months of ‘vacation’ time. I don’t know about that, and as I’m not going to experience that I’m not going to waste time weighing the pros and cons. In 8 – 10 years I see myself not working anymore at all, and rather than count the years I think I’d rather just enjoy the work I’m doing in the here and now instead of waiting until retirement and then realizing what I missed.
So the question with vacation time is how to spend it. Some choose travel, others the ‘staycation’, some have the entire time scripted and planned while some just play each day as it comes. The point is we get to choose, and choice is a wonderful thing.
In my case, there’s a train ride in the works; it’s all aboard for an excursion of the Agawa Canyon north of Sault St. Marie in Ontario. This is something I’ve been talking about doing for years so it’s nice to know it’s just coming up next week. I do hope the weather is good!
I’m also looking forward to spending some time in…my backyard. No seriously! I have put in many hours making the backyard my oasis with a waterfall, greenery and areas for relaxing and barbecuing. It only makes sense to me therefore to plan to spend some time in that space relaxing. Never understood those that create such places and then when vacation time comes they flee what they’ve created.
I’m not knocking those that spend their vacations on beaches in far off climes, nor those who head for the hustle and bustle of big cities in foreign lands. To each their own. To me however, it’s hard to beat some time either camping, staying around the homestead or doing some day trips exploring the area in which we live.
So how about you? What do you do with your vacation time and more importantly what does your vacation time represent to you?
And isn’t it fantastic when the boss at work comes to you and says, “Well now, this year you get an extra week of vacation time based on your year’s of service.” It’s like winning the lottery! Unless of course, you figured this out already and had been counting the years until you got to this point. You haven’t actually started counting the years until your NEXT extra week of vacation have you?
I spoke with someone recently and they told me the number of years, weeks, and days until they retired. Ouch!
Vacation time; enjoy yours my friends!