best things that happened last week:
1. date night
2. house is decorated for c’mas
3. found out i had 20 more hours of vacay than i had thought.
seriously – 20 more hours! i was like a kid (or myself) in a candy store as i marked my availability to cash in on it. i will work a grand total of 12 hours the week of NYE but get paid for much more. is there anything better than paid vacation?
there are lots of studies that actually say vacay makes you more productive. this probably has something to do with the rate at which you reply to emails the first day you’re back (it HAS to quadruple when it comes to messages sent per minute rate). but i think it’s a general rule of life that you must rest. it’s been a soapbox of mine long before now, and it’s not just because i’m lazy (though that makes me quite the flag waver). it’s built into our dna.
i read a few good books on the subject, one of them being Sacred Rhythms (Barton), which I highly recommend. Rob Bell once gave a message on the same topic. He said that studies have been done on animals at the zoo, and it seems that if animals are kept in the public eye for more than 6 straight days, they become quite cantakerous. put them in the cave for a day and when you bring them out, they’re back to normal. we’re just built to have to take a break.
which makes me sad for the current state of our culture. it seems that being pro-vacation makes you a slacker, or at least that’s what we all think it makes us. we were discussing my “extra” vacation at lunch and a co-worker mentioned she has nearly 3 weeks left. 3 weeks! that’s the rest of this month! more than! but she said she didn’t feel like she could take it throughout the course of the year, so it’s just sitting there to be wasted. another co-worker is actually taking her vacation but is very quick to say, “well, you know, working from home” as if she’s going to loose her job for leaving email stagnant for 4 days.
now, i don’t fault the employer on this. it’s not their job to make us take vacay. i think it’s the fear of the employee when they go to take it. it’s like there’s this idea that if you take vacay, you’re not working hard enough. lies. lies, i tell you.
this is what i decided is really happening: we don’t take vacation because we want to feel important. we want to feel like if we left, it would all fall apart. there would be crashing and burning and people crying “why, michele, did you leave us?!” but the reality is that everybody makes it just fine. sure, there are adjustments to be made. but the work gets done. and when you come back, you’re so much more enjoyable to work with. win-win. win.
i’m not sure how it became so socially acceptable to make ourselves feel so good about being important. i guess we all have our ways of doing it… i shouldn’t pick on the people who have solid careers. but i just have to think that if you’re really doing well at your job, then you should be training other people to replace you. if you’re really doing great things, then there should be more of you, not you doing more.
just a thought.