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In Defense Of Vacations

Despite their reputation as being nothing more than fun-filled days of relaxation and recreation, I don't think vacations are as bad as some people lead us to believe they are.

Sure, they hang out at beaches.

They loiter in fishing boats.

But vacations are certainly not as despicable as the media sometimes portrays them.

But of course we know the media can be hypercritical of just about anything.

Defending vacations is a controversial thing to do, I know, but I make a stand here and now in their defense.

Vacations?

I say, give them a chance.

Let's stop being so narrow-minded and critical.

Sure, vacations aren't perfect.

They can't walk on water, but they can swim, ski, and splash around.

So they are human, like us.

I will admit that vacations do avoid work. That criticism is justified. Vacations will do anything within their power to avoid work.

I just came back from my vacation and, in all honesty, my vacation never once brought me to my office here at The Herald. Not one single solitary day during my entire vacation.

Every morning found me waking up in a cabin in the mountains.

Every day I was on vacation my office was empty. True, my by-line was on the front page of both editions that week and my editorials appeared as usual, and my Rafterthoughts column, but that was because, knowing how lazy vacations are, I had to work hard in advance, getting all of those things written ahead of time.

My vacation, I knew, wasn't going to write a thing. Not a word, not a syllable. My vacation would never even mail me a single letter. Not a vowel and my vacation was not a consonant companion.

Oddly, and I don't mind admitting this in public, my vacation's unwillingness to show up for work in my office last week didn't bother me.

Crazy as it sounds-if you read this aloud-that is just what I wanted my vacation to do. Waking up every morning in a cabin in the mountains was just fine with me. My wife agreed and, a happy coincidence, my wife's vacation never showed up in her office, either.

Both of our vacations refused to clock in for a single hour in the workplace.

It was okay that our vacation was fun-filled. We accepted that inevitability with our eyes wide open when we headed down the road.

And, truthfully, it wasn't so bad having fun.

Being relaxed was acceptable, too.

Feeling the stress fall away was not awful.

After a day or two, we both got used to feeling unattached to emails, faxes, phone calls and deadlines.

Seriously, I'm not making any of this up.

But a vacation is not inherently lazy. Such accusations are baseless.

My wife and I hiked 30 miles in the Alleghany Mountains during our vacation. Most of those miles were on trails rated “difficult.”

We went up mountains and down them. Over creeks and waterfalls. We hiked to the top of one mountain and walked lengthwise over its spine until it began to descend again.

My vacation accepted the sweat, near-dehydration, blisters, bruises, bloody scrapes and all while being very afraid of heights.

And I respect my vacation for doing so.

You will not find me criticizing vacations.

The buck stops stopping here.