A few weeks ago, my family and I left chilly Iowa for sunny Florida. We met up with my brother-in-law and his family for five days at Disney World. I arrived with a bad cold that was turning into bronchitis. However, after a day in the sweet, warm shade by the pool at our resort, I was mostly cured.
Say what you want about the Disney empire, but it is a great place to go and “forget about your worries and your strife.” We immersed ourselves in the experience from the food to the rides to the shows. We unplugged (for the most part). We enjoyed being together.
I came home from vacation feeling better than I had all year and ready to tackle the rest of the spring semester, our daughter’s high school graduation and all.
At the same time, I took a vacation from my book project. I handed the manuscript off to the designers and turned my attention to reading. Specifically, The Emigrants series by Vilhelm Moberg, which tells the tale of Swedish emigrants to the US in the mid-nineteenth century.
I also baked and cooked more than I usually do. Practical tasks, which are relaxing, because they take you away from the computer and let you do something real—with your hands. I was inspired by Moberg’s books to write down a list of practical skills I would like to learn, such as knitting and making pickled beets.
And as you may have noticed, I even took a vacation from blogging. I have to do that every now and then. To get re-energized. To minimize screen time. To find time for special projects.
What is the point of all this?
The point is: our plugged-in, networked, hands-off lifestyle requires vacation. We need a break from it. Ideally every week. But sometimes for a longer period of time. There is a reason some professions have sabbaticals. There is a reason we created festivals and holidays. We need time off to rest and recharge.
Taking vacation is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of intelligence.
We need vacation.