Many of you remember having days off from school around Easter time. Through the years, most public schools changed the name to “Spring Break” to avoid any religious connections. With snow make-up days being used for some of this time off, family vacations are becoming a bit trickier to plan. For some of you, that causes a problem. For others, it’s no big deal. 

When I was a young man working at The Des Moines Register, I was planning a vacation and told Denny, a customer of mine, that I would be off work and explained how I planned to cover the bases. He looked at me with a stern face and said, “Vacation? You don’t work Sundays, do you? That’s 52 days of vacation a year.” He continued, “Wait, you don’t work Saturdays either, do you? That’s another 52 days. That’s 104 days of vacation per year. How much vacation do you need?”

I was without words. Denny was having fun with me, but there was also some truth to what he was saying. Some people I know seem to be continually talking about their next vacation, even though they just got back from one. That time off is supposed to make them happy, recharge them, and have them ready to take on the tasks of life again — but it doesn’t seem to do that. They just want more vacation time.

As a teenager, I worked at a local gas station/convenience store that was open 24/7. Even in the 1980s, staffing was a challenge, especially on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. But when the opportunity came to earn time-and-a-half for holiday pay, I was the first to sign up. I enjoyed working those days, as the store traffic was lighter, the customers who stopped in were quite cheery, and I liked the paycheck.

When I worked at the Register, we were told in no uncertain terms that we would not be allowed to take vacation between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those were the newspaper’s busiest times with advertising, and we were to be there to make sure of it.  We are not as strict today in our company, but a holiday does mean that we have to complete five days of work in four days. The presses keep running. 

Author, entrepreneur, public speaker and Navy veteran Rob Hill, Sr. said, “My goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from.” Now that makes sense to me. But like most things in life, I have learned that there truly are different strokes for different folks. Some people love to travel and spend time on a beach; I get sunburned and have two days of diarrhea. Others want to take a week off and ride a bicycle 468 miles across the state in 90-degree weather while sleeping on the ground each night; that’s not my idea of a vacation. And a select few enjoy time at home working on a list of projects and relaxing with friends and family; that’s more my style. But, again, to each his (or her) own. 

Regardless of how you plan to spend any vacation time, I hope you enjoy it and will return with enthusiasm, vigor and gusto. The world needs you.   

Have a fantastic Friday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Times Vedette digital newsletter