Editor’s Desk

Column: Grateful for a short rest

jwhitfield@newsobserver.comFebruary 14, 2014 


Johnny Whitfield, columnist The Eastern Wake News and The Clayton News Star.

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As you read this, the calendar is closing on a week of vacation. It’s a much-anticipated change of pace.

The respite from work has given me a chance to catch up on some chores that keep getting put off day by day, week by week.

It’s also given me the change to rest and recharge my batteries.

In the rush of every day life, we all-too-often forget to do that – or, if you’re like me, it’s hard to find the time to recharge.

Taking vacation during the school year means the children are in school, so long trips to the beach or some other vacation spot are out of the question, which is just fine, because I think the most peaceful place in the world is often inside the walls of our own home.

Normally, when I take time off like this, I talk to my wife about what things she wants me to do while I’m off. Regardless of the work schedule, as most husbands know, it always pays to keep Mama happy.

But this year, I didn’t ask. I didn’t have any major projects on my own to-do list. Instead, I had just a few small things here and there which could be taken care of in a few hours each day. That way, I figured, I’d have more time for the activity I was looking forward to most: resting. As I get older, I find the best way to use free time is lying supine in a bed or on a sofa. If that seems terribly lazy, well, you’d be right. It is lazy.

But it’s a good lazy.

Some vacations get so filled with the act of packing, unpacking, going, coming and doing that you find yourself in a need of a vacation after you’ve come back from vacation.

That won’t be a concern for me. There hasn’t been any luggage to pack this week. No cars to service for long travel. No children buzzing around underfoot asking when we’re leaving or if we really have to go back home.

That rest and relaxation, regardless of what’s on the vacation schedule, means the pressures of the working world turn into whispers and, as the week goes on, they seem to drift off into the ether.

As I write this, with the week of vacation still ahead of me, I wonder just how much I’ll really be able to slow down. Like ships on the ocean, it’s hard to turn our bodies and minds on a dime. It’s challenging to go from full speed ahead to treading water.

A successful vacation ends with me rested, satisfied with the number of little chores marked off my to-do list and anxious to go back to work.

Hopefully that rejuvenation pays benefits for me when I do darken the door of the office next time.

But for now, I won’t worry too much about that. Though it’s getting late, I still have a little bit of vacation left and I’m going to vacate to the greatest extent possible, both mentally and physically.

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