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The Vacation Struggle


The Vacation Struggle

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Vacation Struggle

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I don't know of anyone who on their death bed said "I wish I had worked more" and with three young children I had a wake up call a few years ago regarding my mortality and at that stage I decided that I had to ensure I was getting a decent work/life balance. Many in our line of work don't take a step back and look at the amount of time we put in, or the stress that will sometimes come with the job.

Vacations are important, but it is equally important to keep that balance during your working year to ensure that you stay healthy. I try and keep as much as I can to the "Life Charter" below. If I die, my employers will find a new employee, my children won't find a new daddy.

YOU ONLY GET ONE LIFE
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY, AND SPEND TIME WITH THOSE WHO MAKE YOU SMILE.
IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
IF YOUR FRIENDS DON’T HAVE TIME FOR YOU, FIND NEW ONES.
IF YOU WANT SOMETHING GO AND GET IT, WHATS STOPPING YOU?
LIFE IS SHORT, DON’T WONDER WHAT IF, YOU DON’T KNOW IF YOU DON’T TRY.
ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR HEART. HAVE NO REGRETS.
SOME OPPORTUNITIES ONLY COME ONCE, SEIZE THEM.
DON’T DWELL ON YOUR PAST MISTAKES.
ACCEPT THE THINGS IN LIFE YOU CAN’T CHANGE.
TRY NOT TO CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU.
DON’T COMPARE THE GAINS OR FORTUNES OF OTHERS WITH YOURS.
ALWAYS GIVE 100% IN EVERYTHING YOU DO.
HAVE DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS.
LOVE AND BE LOVED.
STOP OVER ANALYZING.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE AND THE THINGS YOU ENJOY DOING.
SMILE AT OTHERS AND LAUGH AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN.
FORGIVE QUICKLY, EMBRACE CHANGE, TRAVEL OFTEN.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL. TRY NEW THINGS. TAKE RISKS. FACE YOUR FEARS.
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT IN LIFE AND GO FOR IT.
DON’T WAIT FOR THINGS TO HAPPEN, MAKE THEM HAPPEN.
LIFE IS ONE BIG ADVENTURE, YOU ONLY GET ONE, SO MAKE IT AS GOOD AND HAPPY AS POSSIBLE.

david.wright-948385
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All good stuff for most people, but you're straying into 'this is what you need to do' territory.

Plus, can the articles in the emails go above the editorial as before please?
skanker
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Great article and food for thought.

I loved the first bit of feedback - as I have three young kids myself I try hard to make sure I get the right work/life balance. It does not always work as only this week I have had to miss some school sports days due to work demands. However that is the exception as I always try to be there for the big events in my family life.

Holidays are important too and I always make sure I use my allowance. I would not want to get to retirement with regrets for all the missed opportunities. Took the kids to Disney this year, not everyones cup of tea I know, however the smiles on everyones faces certainly helped charge my batteries up. :-D
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Well said, Steve!

While I am in my early 40's, I have already seen too many friends be afflicted with cancer and have their life snubbed out before they really had the opportunity to emerse themselves in it; mainly because of their "commitment" to the job.

Thank you for giving the community time to pause and think a bit about letting life pass us by.

Steve



Larry Kruse
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Steve - It seems like my wife and I take one "big" vacation (of 2 weeks) every other year or so, and will take a one week in between. Depending on what is going on with work, I can have more or less enthusiasm about taking that time off. One thing I've noticed is that regardless of whether I'm enthused about the timing of the vacation, I always notice that I start getting more and more excited about it as I start planning and making reservations and planning an itinerary of some kind. The more I get involved in the trip planning, the more excited I start getting about going on vacation. I try to keep in mind that my job is what supports my ability to have a leisure life while taking a vacation, and so I try to make sure that maximize that "leisure" part when on vacation. There are a lot of things to do and see before I die, and spending time with kids and loved ones can't be postponed until it is more convenient. Work will always be around after you get back from vacation.

Larry
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Wow -- that whole 2 weeks a year vacation thing is something that I do not miss about living in the USA! I'm American, but have lived in the UK for more than a decade. Twenty days a year (plus national holidays) is 'normal' vacation in this country, although of course there are those industries/companies that offer less than that. It's such a pleasure to be able to have a 2-week holiday every year (even if I just stay home!) plus another 10 days that I can take as individual days or as a week or whatever other configuration fits with my wishes and my company's requirements.

I love the USA but I don't look forward to having only two weeks of holiday a year when I eventually move back.
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Lots of good points. I understand how difficult it can be sometimes to get away for vacation. I used to get that a lot and found it very frustrating. I don't have a family of my own but I like to visit my brother and his family in Massachusetts or friends in far-away places. Perhaps not acceptable to everyone but one thing that helps me plan these getaways in spite of interference from work commitments is to not necessarily make a complete break. I don't sleep much and a lot of times while on vacation I'm either in a hotel room alone or sitting up late at night watching infomercials or whatever I can find while everyone else sleeps -- if I have work to do, a lot of times I will just take my laptop with me and put in two or three hours late at night (which is one of my most productive times, anyway). If I am supporting someone else (even outside customers) a lot of times I will give them my cell number and what times I might be available for a call if they get into a real bind -- I stress that I might not have time to deal with it but if it's important I will either try to handle it when I can or try to find someone else to whom I can pass the baton. I have never had anyone abuse it by calling about trivial matters or something which can wait for my return and it usually calms any concerns about my absence. I still get to get away, I try to keep the vacation my main priority, and if I work while on my trip, I can bank some of my vacation time for a later trip. Once, however, I did have an account manager tell me that if I kept doing more work while on vacation than I do in the office they were going to start requiring that I take vacation.:-D

As for not putting off opportunities, that's a really important point. I love listening to live music and was a great fan of Les Paul, as much for his technological innovation as his guitar playing. When I found out that he played at a jazz club in NYC every Monday night, I thought, "I could go see him play -- how great is that? All I have to do is be in NYC some Monday night." I thought about that now and again but for years never did anything about it. One day while visiting my brother I was surfing the Internet and came across an article about Les Paul's 90th birthday -- and realized the article was almost two years old. I thought, "I keep saying that one day I'm going to go see him play -- just how long am I going to wait?" I figured I was about as close to NYC as I was going to get anytime soon and it was Saturday night -- I booked tickets to both of his Monday night shows and took the train to New York. I got to see a personal idol and living legend play and had a great time. Two years later he was dead. Don't squander those opportunities -- you can't know how many you will get.

- Les
Steve Jones
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ConnieOI (7/12/2013)
Wow -- that whole 2 weeks a year vacation thing is something that I do not miss about living in the USA! I'm American, but have lived in the UK for more than a decade. Twenty days a year (plus national holidays) is 'normal' vacation in this country, although of course there are those industries/companies that offer less than that. It's such a pleasure to be able to have a 2-week holiday every year (even if I just stay home!) plus another 10 days that I can take as individual days or as a week or whatever other configuration fits with my wishes and my company's requirements.

I love the USA but I don't look forward to having only two weeks of holiday a year when I eventually move back.


Most companies I've worked for in the last 10 years have offered 3 weeks PTO usually as a standard, including sick and vacation time.

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Manie Verster
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In South Africa December is summer and therefore lots of companies close then. We close for three weeks and sometimes two. Three weeks is my holiday leave for the year so, if I want to take leave any other time of the year normally just a day or two or a week then I have to make a plan to either work in December extra time or work it in some other time. This means that my wife and me (children all grown up) can close to never go away together and I sit at home alone but hey, that's ok because then I get time to do all the little repair jobs around the house. We sometimes make a long weekend and do something together like this year we went camping in a tent. These times are sometimes better than two or three weeks at home. Yes, holidays are important and I believe that employers should make sure that their employees take leave. It is after all good for production because after a good vacation an employee can just perform better.

Oh, by the way Steve, I love the new format of the e-mail we get!:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D

:-PManie Verster
Developer
Johannesburg
South Africa

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Holy Bible
I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. - Everett Mckinley Dirkson (Well, I am trying. - Manie Verster)
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