You take a vacation and then … life

Ah, the end of a vacation.

The day when reality starts creeping its way back into your thoughts.

The day when you ask yourself, why is it I’m working again?

The day when you you start counting down to your next vacation.

Today is that day for me. Today is that moment I realize my vacation is over and I have to work in the morning.

It’s been a great vacation. Granted I did get sick smack dab in the middle of my holiday (Wednesday to Wednesday), it was nice to take a break from work.

How long did you have?

Two weeks. Two lovely weeks.

What?! So long? Why?

If I’m being honest, it was a blog post by Chantal Panozzo titled “Living In Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture.” Yep. Not kidding. Here’s the post. She mentions several reasons, several good reasons that living abroad made it hard for her to work in America. She mentions work-life balance, which almost non-existent in America. She mentions good arguments about wealth-based taxes. And even how she never had to own a car, but it was the points she made about vacation time that piqued my interest.

Reason #2 mentions how she had time and money. Co-workers chastised her for taking only a ten day holiday to Spain. They told her it was too little time off. And in Reason #5 she mentions having lots of paid vacation time and was never made to feel guilty about taking it.

It’s this reason that appeals to me because even though I get paid vacation, most times your boss or supervisor makes you feel guilty about taking time off. This should not be the case! She mentions that in Switzerland, most companies give you six weeks a year. Six. Weeks! But she make an excellent argument: Relaxing makes you more productive. I believe in this whole heartedly. Even before I read this article.

After reading that post, I thought about myself and work. At the start of this year, I accepted a temporary job position that was supposed to last four months, maybe five. It was a managerial position and while I didn’t feel ready to take on such a huge responsibility, my work really needed the help because no one was taking it so I decided to try for it. I was the only one who expressed interest and even though I wasn’t an employee for as long as others were, they gave me the job. Well, that four month job has morphed into almost a year and a half position. The permanent worker won’t be stepping in until next May. It’s been challenging and sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it, but I appreciate the experience I’m gaining from it.

With that said, I wasn’t expecting it to be so long. So, what better reason could I have for needing a vacation?

It’s the first year I’ve taken such a large block of vacation time. The most I’ve ever taken was seven days. It’s been nice not to worry. Not to plan. Just cruising at my leisure. I wasn’t able to accomplish all that I wanted to accomplish, especially since I got sick, but I think this has been good for me.

And tomorrow will be the test to see how effective this time off has been. Tomorrow I go back to the working world. Tomorrow I’ll be doing some reflection to exactly what it is I’m doing career-wise.

So, wish me luck!


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