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Monday, March 15, 2010

Vacate Like A European

Im taking 3 weeks vacation. Well, not taking but using the hours I have earned. Gone are the days I take two or three days, or even one solid week - minus the weekend.

There are a lot of people in America that get a certain amount time off annually once we become an employee of a company or organization. Those people also accumulate time as they work.
If you accumulate and work hard and need a break, why not go for the gold and use the hours your obliged to?

I went to Jamaica about two summers ago, and met a few British citizens. They would ask me how long I'm staying in town and I would answer "oh 3 nights four days. I'll be home by Friday."

They just stared at me blankly.

So I ask them the same question. Their answer? "oh about two weeks or so." Or so? Immediately I'm thinking, wow how do or how can you afford that much time off? I was the only guest at the hotel just getting "a taste of Jamaica."

I mean how can anybody really visit an island and get to know it through and through if I'm not even staying long enough to get off the resort and explore?

So why do we Americans take such shitty breaks?

We care too much about what other people think. We also over analyze what may or may not happen while we're gone. And don't forget the folks who are just plain scared of losing their job. If they fire you while your on vacay then you didn't need to be there any way.

A vacation/time off is a great prescription for BURNOUT.

I was burnt out. Tired of the same routine and ready to shake it up a bit. So, I decided to refresh from taking a non traditionally long break.

So. How much vacation is enough?

I say take as loooong as you need. I used to think about being mindful of fellow employees, their work load, what they may or may not be able do and what not. But, that's HOGWASH.

When they are out on vacay, i'm pretty sure they are not thinking about me.

Tip #1:
Breaking away means breaking COMPLETELY away. Don't worry about the office. Like attracts like so if you worry then something drastic may happen.
I feel people will rise to the occasion and begin to be more SELF RELIANT. And if something does happen then it's supposed to. Leave it alone.

Some people take a hiatus, a gap year, a mental break (because the doctor says so), or do months or a year long work related break or job in some other city.

Tip #2
There are all kinds of break away opportunities. I had a former employee who went away on a fellowship for a year. She broke away from our office into another one. Gaining experience she can bring back to help us grow. (though she never came back. lol)
Then there's the hiatus. That's time off for specific reasons, mostly a huge SICK LEAVE opportunity but why wait til you get ill or a family member gets ill? That's not a vacation. YOU DESERVE BETTER. Another popular break is a GAP YEAR. Usually recent highschool or college graduates take a gap year abroad and explore the globe before buckling down into a "scheduled" life of classes or cubicle life.

Tip #3
What do you need? A mental break? An island oasis? Family time? Answer that question first then plan (a bit)how long YOU believe YOU need to take care of YOURSELF. I decided on three weeks because after 5 days I still need time to amp myself back up to going back to the office. One week is enough to relax, but another is added to change some thoughts and habits. The third week is to put the new me all together.

Tip #4
Employment is shaky in this part of the world and folks are being fired, furloughed or just plain QUITTING. If one of the above, use a long time off to make smooth transitions into another job or frame of mind. With furloughs, you can combine your furlough days with your LEAVE HOURS and make, making no money worth your time. I have been furloughed 4 days already and (tentatively) have 2 more days to go.
If fired, most people panic; But this is the best time to try something new. Delve deeper into a hobby that can become a new living or take a class and learn something (there are free courses for those with little budgets). Take a break before hitting the pavement and clear your head. It's a chance TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE!
Quitting a job means its a done deal. You've had enough. Lets say you have a new job. Why quit one day and get back in the office the next? Make that transition as smooth as possible and take a break to BREATHE. Your body and mind need to relax and need to be prepared to take in another environment. - Which leads me to the last tip:

Tip #5
New environment means NEW ENERGY. New energy can boost you up or down, change your outlook on your life and open the door to more and great opportunities to grow in your personal success. Energy is in all things and helps make the shift into another perspective of your world.


Shoot, I sure am.



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