Coming Home

I wrote this post before vacation but will publish it on the Monday we return.  I have tried to have things in order so that our "reentry" back to our norm will be relatively painless.

The best laid plans of mice and men.

This week that we return I have to hit the ground running: doctors' appointments for family, moving one family member and continuing the paper work for another's move in addition to trying to get back to my writing.  Looking ahead at my calendar and the two week delay of activities, I am wondering is the vacation worth it? 

Seems like I am not alone in thinking this way.  As Americans, we work hard but we have a hard time taking off.   According to Project:Time Off ( whose goal is to shift culture so that taking time off is understood as essential to personal well-being, professional success, business performance, and economic expansion.)  Americans wasted 685 million of unclaimed vacation days in 2015.  

Many people don't take their paid vacation because they don't want to appear dispensable to management.  The thinking is, if management can manage without me for a week or two, they might think that my job is redundant or irrelevant and consequently fire me.   Interestingly, the Project: Time Off coalition found that "employees who take 10 or fewer days of vacation time are less likely to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years than those who took 11 days or more."  It is the employee who uses his/her vacation that financially benefits.   

It is so important to get away- preferably physically, but also mentally and emotionally.  It is important to have time away and responsibilities lessen.  For some, vacation is few and far between but is necessary.  It is the sabbath of our working lives.  The other lesson from the Project: Time Off study is that one needs to plan for it.  If we don't plan, we most likely won't do it. "The single-most important step workers can take is to plan their time off in advance, as more than half (51%) of planners used all their earned vacation time compared to 39% of non-planners. Yet less than half (49%) of households set aside time to plan their vacation time each year. Further, planners reported greater happiness in every category measured, especially relationships with partners and children."

In order to make the vacation and its "reentry"  a little bit easier I am trying to get things in order before hand:  house cleaned, yard in a livable state, correspondences up to date, writing submissions done, desk in order.  It does make things a little crazy before we leave, but it is a push that makes the whole vacation more enjoyable for me.  I can relax because I know that things are "shored up" for the next couple of weeks and when I return it won't be too hectic (or so I hope).   

What about you?  Are you having a vacation this summer?  Will it be restful?  Are you looking forward to it or are you dreading the reentry? 

I have found that when I plan for vacation and for my return, it is more than just coming home.  It is a home coming filled with great memories, rest and rejuvenation.