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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

Vacations are Over-Rated

     Note from Ned

         It’s summer.  When you read this note, you will likely be on a vacation, looking forward to a vacation, returning from a vacation, or wishing you’d done better in planning for a vacation.

           Personally, I’ve become convinced that vacations are way over-rated.  I am sure most of you will howl in disagreement, and you will cite valid statistics that show we Americans work too hard, do not take the vacations due us, and fail to pause long enough to appreciate the love and finery down time provides.

           People ask me all the time, “When will you be taking time off?  Where do you go to get away?  When is your vacation?”

           The fact is I have not had a vacation in years.  We do go away, my wife, my family, and me, but I always build writing into that time.  I do not like the idea of a vacation.  That’s because I love my work, I love my family, and I have no special desire to “vacate” all of that in some kind of supposedly idyllic state of leisure.

           Don’t get me wrong.  Those of you who love your vacations, bless you all.  My wonderful assistant, Dianne, goes off to France every year with her husband for weeks of pleasure, pleasure that I would not enjoy but they most certainly do.  In fact, one year her husband tried to engineer such a vacation for my family and me, but, thank goodness, in the end it fell apart.

           Certainly my kids and my wife do love vacations.  And I wish I could afford to send them on more.  But I am secretly glad I can’t because I do not like sunning on the beach, even though I grew up on the beaches of Cape Cod, and sunning on the beach is what they all would like to do.

           I do find ways to provide them access to sunny beaches by arranging every summer a week  on a beautiful beach in Michigan and a beautiful beach on Cape Cod where I teach courses and they can relax under the sun.

            Perhaps I am a curmudgeon.  But I don’t see it that way.  I think I am a man who loves what he does, and one of the things he (I) don’t love is stopping doing what I love so I can vacate that and do…..nothing.

            Relaxing, walking hand in hand, reading, eating well, drinking good wine—these are the ingredients of a good vacation.  What kind of alien am I not to like them?  I do like them.  I just tend to do them every day, instead of saving them up for vacation.

             So, with this note, I wish you all a wonderful summer, and should it happen to include a vacation, you have my sympathy.  (smiley face).

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