Little Pleasures: Taking Time Off

bigstockphoto_Three_Girl_Friends_Celebrating_212140Summer is “supposed” to be this iconic, easy/breezy time of year.

But it seems a lot of people I know (in real life or the blogosphere) have had a rough couple of months.

It could be the ugly economy, unemployment or job insecurity/instability, money woes, relationship stress, family stress, an unseasonably cold summer …

Whatever it is behind this recent bout of S.A.D. people are experiencing, it’s not been the best of summers for many.

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite ways to recharge (if I can’t take an actual vacation) is to take a personal day.

A day to do whatever the heck I want, with no plans. Yup, you heard me right: the Queen of Plans loves a day with no plans. (Ok, ok, once in a blue moon).

Sometimes I like to take time off to just spend with my hubby, but sometimes I just need a “me” day. 

I used to worry it was wasteful to take a day off that wasn’t dedicated to a trip or specific plans, but not anymore. (I have more vacation days than my hubby anyway ;))

So in honor of recharging, today, I’m taking a the afternoon off to spend with my girlfriends and our dear friend who recently moved to California and is back for a quick visit. Yea for girl-time!!

Depending on the weather, we’re either going to go to South Haven (a cute beach town on Lake Michigan) for lunch, walking and window-shopping, or if the weather sucks, we’ll stay in town do something girlie like get pedicures. I don’t care what we do; I just can’t wait for girl-time and time outside of the usual work day.

I think time off from work/the grind is so important, even if we love our jobs. 

Since I’m not taking a big vacation this summer (Mexico in March was our biggie of the year) the best I can do is take little breaks when I can, and I have. 

My next mini-break (unless I go home to N.J. at the beginning of August) will be toward the end of August when my best friend comes for a visit. We’ve been BFFs since our freshman year of college (12 years now!) and this will be her first time here, so I’m super-super-super-stoked to see her!!

Whenever I have something fun and exciting to look forward to — like a trip, or a visitor — it makes everything else seem a little rosier and a little less melodramatic. Do you feel that way too?

How about you? How has your summer been? Average, above average, less than stellar? What’s your favorite way to recharge? Have you taken a personal “me” day lately?

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12 thoughts on “Little Pleasures: Taking Time Off

  1. How has your summer been? My summer has been busy and nondescript. I’m wrapping up my work on my double masters so my free time has been spent reading, analyzing, and writing papers. I’d rate it as average just because earning my MSW/MPA will be AWESOME payoff in the long run.

    My favorite way to recharge is to spend quality time with my friends. I love having a girls night or just doing something fun in a group. It re-energizes me and reminds me I am loved.

    I took a personal 1/2 day yesterday. I slept in till 12 then came to work. It was nice! 🙂

  2. Sadly my summer has been STRESSFUL. I long for the days of not having to improve myself. Not only am I working on recovery, but I have to apply for my own job.. if I don`t get it I might be screwed, and work at learning French so I can be tested as bilingual. Did I mention in my field applying for a job means crazy amounts of studying because of testing and interviews? It`s exhausting. I desperately want a vacation. I might be taking one in September. I have a hard time taking them if it`s not `worth it`. One of the reasons I binge is when I feel like I should be doing something productive but I don`t want to or I`m tired. So this summer has been one big: you should be studying.. but I don`t want to; hence, lots of bingeing going on. I can not wait till this job is completed whether I get it or not.

    1. Good luck with your job, Susie!! Learing a language is a challenge for sure. What field are you in, if you don’t mind my asking?

      And you sound like my husband — he’s been struggling studying this summer, too. Year-round MBA education seems more overwhelming now that he’s living it. Between a FT job and a house always needing something … it’s stressful for him, too, and he needs to continue to do well in school.

      1. I work for the Canadian federal government, so bilingualism is a must a lot of the time- in my case it is. With the government, you have to compete for any new job pretty well so unless I want to say in the same job forever or the same level of responsiblity forever, I have to compete. Every department expects you to know the ins and outs of their department, different policies and regulations, etc.
        I should stop complainig. At least I have a job to fall back on. Going back to school would be so hard. I have thought about it, but I don`t think I can do that right now. It`s a lot of work!

  3. I’m totally taking that picture when we’re out at the beach – it will just have to be full sun vs. sunset. 🙂

    Amen for girl time and personal time and all that! I haven’t had summer between work and sucky weather and work and other junk and work, so yeah, I’m looking forward to it!

  4. Good for you! Girl days are so fun, especially if it means time away from work. I have some vacation days left this year but won’t be going anywhere…so I’m looking forward to some personal days and just relaxing. As much as I love vacations, sometimes it IS more relaxing to have “staycations!”

  5. Personal days off are SO important. My summer has been average. Really I have found that since school/college where summer’s were more “free” that summer is really just like any other time of year only warmer. I really enjoy the longer days but it doesn’t have that same excitement it had when summer = freedom or even if working it wasn’t a “real” i.e. career job if that makes sense.

    We also did a big Mexico vacation last fall so no big vacation plans this summer but I have lots of leave and the idea of a “staycation” is sounding very appealing. Have fun with the girls!

  6. I am so with you, Lara. God I miss those days of summer when it wasn’t the usual grind. I worked every summer waitressing in college back home … and I busted my ass … but I had some days off here and there and it wasn’t so stressful as working in the “real world.”

    Thanks 🙂

  7. My summer has been definitely less than stellar. We took a big vacation in January and I’m longing for a nother one but it just isn’t in our cards right now. I’m with you on the personal days. Everyone needs them! My next big plans are to take a 4 day weekend, get my hair done one day and then the beach the next with my sister. Can’t wait!

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