Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time Off

The great thing about having been so swamped over the summer is that I was left with vacation time to burn in December!

For the rest of this month, I only work 8 days.  I haven't worked a full 5 day week since the week before Thanksgiving and won't again until the week of January 9.

On the one hand, it adds to the stress of the job because work piles up and urgent things still have to get taken care of.

On the other hand, so many people take a lot of time off in December that the level of urgency has decreased since no one is around.

Here's a tidbit I saw this week- US employees don't use all their vacation each year to the tune of $34 billion of work time! 

Now maybe some people have an employer that gives enough unofficial benefits during the year that losing a couple of days of vacation is a fair trade.  But I'd guess that most jobs don't offer anything special enough to warrant not taking all of your permitted vacation time.

My time off includes 4 days that are without my kids.  That time will be used for some downtime, maybe seeing a movie, lunch dates, and housework and home organization projects, shopping, maybe get a massage.

My time off includes 6 non-holiday weekdays with my kids.  That time will be used for some holiday fun- visiting the Children's Museum for Jolly Days and Jingle Rails at Eiteljorg and Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum.  I'd like to bundle up this Saturday and visit Conner Prairie - when we went last year (or was it the year before?), we learned so much about how Christmas became a holiday celebrated in the ways we now consider tradition!

Time off is important- even if that time ends up being busy.  Time away from work is a necessity- to disconnect from the mindframe of tasks and emails and conference calls and office politics.  Time to plug in to self and family- to laugh and cook and giggle and play and experience and snuggle and just be still.

What are you doing for time off this season?

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4 comments:

Rebecca said...

Before Kevin left his old job, he had been there for so long he had 6 weeks every year of vacation. This year? He's down to two weeks. Bah~

We normally schedule all his time off to be days the kids are off and we go somewhere fun and do something new.

Mellodee said...

Not use vacation time?? Why would anyone not use every single second of paid time off? I have NEVER understood that.

No matter how good a job one has, no matter how happy one is doing the work, it is still just a job! I guarantee when reaching retirement (or a changed life circumstance) and one no longer has to spend the bulk of one's day doing the things an employer wants, one will not miss it for long. Retirement is wonderful thing!

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

I LOVE time off. My only complaint is that there isn't more of it.

Karen Peterson said...

Time off is so necessary. I truly believe neglecting vacations makes us less productive instead of more.