I have always thought that there was something ridiculous or even ironic about the sentiment of “vacation”. Dictionary.com defines vacation as:
a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday
Fair enough. However, I usually find the periods immediately before and after the actual days of “vacation” as ridiculously stressful, enough to almost completely negate any positive benefits of the time away.
In my experience, here is how vacation usually goes (and this is AFTER the stress, drama etc. of planning, making reservations etc. — another story completely!!).
- Panic panic panic because there is SO MUCH WORK TO DO before leaving! Because when on vacation I WILL NOT WORK. I WILL NOT CHECK EMAIL. I WILL NOT GO ONLINE. I will be. On. Vacation.
- In spite of the best intentions to pack early, the midnight before the 6 a.m. departure for the airport, clothes are still running through the washer and dryer. The suitcase is empty (unless you count the cat).
- 3 a.m. Still sending emails and trying to get through the work. I can always sleep on the plane, right?
- Should I pack workout clothes? I will pack workout clothes. (knowing full well there is zero chance that I will actually use them).
- We were supposed to leave for the airport 30 minutes ago!!!!!!!
- What do you mean my bag is too heavy? What do you mean I have to pay $100???????
- Aren’t people who are as large as the person next to me supposed to buy two seats? OK fine, I guess you will take over half of my seat too. Lovely.
- Did we remember to feed the cats? Did I unplug my flatiron? Hmmmm …
- I am on vacation! Why am I not relaxed, dammit????
And then of course, there is the return. 2,500 emails? No problem! Working 20 hours days to catch up post-vacation? Done.
Vacation makes me need a vacation.