Monday, December 9, 2013

Insight - The vacation culture - By Michelle Libby

Americans as a whole do not take vacation time. Study after study report that we are given half the time of employees in European nations to take vacations. And, as hard working, dedicated and loyal as we are, it’s not good for us or for our employers, studies say. 
“While we are conditioned to believe that such commitment to our jobs is necessary, honorable and demonstrative of dedication, in reality, this work culture is in fact causing our society a lot more harm than good.  According to William Chalmers, author of America’s Vacation Deficit Disorder: Who Stole Your Vacation? our failure to take vacations is costing US businesses and taxpayers over a trillion dollars a year and is shortening the lives of Americans,” Jodi Gummow, Alternet wrote in her story “America is a no-vacation nation” on 

Having just come back from vacation, I understand how stressful it can be to leave your job for a week. There are things to do before you leave and then when you return. I’ll be catching up for a week or two both at work and at home. Would I have traded the vacation experience with my family? Not a chance. It was and continues to be a lot of work, but the memories we made and connections we forged were so important, especially when my daughter will be heading off to college in the fall. This is time I would never be able to get back with my children and husband. And time is an amazing commodity. 

“Taking a one or two week vacation is actually good for business and the U.S. economy because it allows the individual to recharge, revitalize and come back to the workforce refreshed and more creative and ready to work,” the founder of The Global Scavenger Hunt told Alternet.

I am very focused on local. Windham, Raymond and a few surrounding towns are what my brain focuses on all the time. To travel to a different country, remember that there is a whole wide world out there with people like us, but different, who are trying to do the best they can for their family, like to smile, entertain, correct a flawed attempt at Spanish…it’s empowering and does create that desire to put myself back into The Windham Eagle, refreshed and ready to find out what happened in our communities while I was away. 

So don’t be afraid to do something good for yourself. A day or two away can make all the difference.

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