Wednesday 19 February 2020

The problem with holidays

The problem is that I do not take enough of them. 

When my mother had her stroke last year that event torched my holiday plans. Not that I am complaining, life is full of unforeseen and unexpected events. I really had nothing planned anyway. 

I ended up taking less than half of my allotted holiday time. That was not by design, I thought I had taken my vacation days. With taking a couple of days off to do a couple of things and a few days taking mom to various appointments I had lost track and thought I used up my time off. Close to the end of the year I was told that I had unused vacation days. I thought nothing of it and not being able to use them in the remainder of the year I kind of written them off. 

In January my workplace had told me they carried over my unused days to this year. This kind of creates a minor problem in that I have a problem taking time off. I usually take road trips on weekends and I can cover a lot of distance in a long weekend. So my goals during my time off are usually accomplished on weekends. I have taken a day off to create a long weekend. Four days off in a row is about my limit. I do not know why but that amount of time off seems optimal for me. 

This is nothing new. At a few places I have worked I never used all my vacation time. I am not good with taking time off. 

It is not like I am in love with my job either. My attitude concerning work is that it allows me to pay my bills, have cash to indulge in some activities, and have hopefully have some money left over at the end of the month. My job does not fulfill me, my own time does that. Work is work. If you enjoy your work and it is your passion then more power to you. 

I kind of have to be doing something on my time off as well. When I was married my wife’s idea of a vacation was to lie by a pool for a week. Literally. I was good doing that for a couple of hours. Then I needed to do something. I cannot do nothing on my time off. I get bored easily. 

I need to book holidays. So far this year I have taken one day off and that was to run an errand for mom. Maybe I will take that ten day motorcycle trip I keep thinking of doing. Knowing me I will have got there and back in four days.


  1. Too much time off was not usually one of my problems at least until I retired.
    If your 10 day motorcycle trip has activities along the way you might have a better chance of stretching it out to the full 10 days.
    Are there hot springs to stop, photograph & soak for a bit on your way? Old gold mines to explore or streams to pan for gold in? Waterfalls to hike in & see?

    I found that going slower and seeing what was beside the road on my way was very hard to do, for too many years I had blinders on and I was "going someplace" with arriving being the only goal.
    That was hard to change... good luck!

    1. You are right. I do need to change how I do things on road trips.

  2. I agree with Rob, build some time in to stop every now and then and your road trips will be less stressful and more enjoyable. Maybe you don't get stressed by them but I get worn out by hours and hours of continuous driving.

    I have the same problem about vacation time, though. I tend to have about 5 weeks in the buffer that I can't seem to use.

  3. Good gawd, man, book off two or three weeks and go to Europe or somewhere completely different. Photograph THEIR barns and hay bales for awhile. Drink different beer and eat different food. It will do you a world of good.

  4. I'm one of those people who lived for holidays. When I was a kid I absolutely detested school and it was such a huge deal when holidays were at an end. I guess I carried that feeling over into my working years too. Good tips from the other comments - hopefully you can make them work for you.