Tag Archive | vacation

My Summer Vacation

When I was a kid, the first essay of the school year always had the same title: My Summer Vacation. I hated that assignment because our family never did all that much worthy of report. Money was always tight, so rather than spending a week at the shore or traveling to an exotic place, my vacation away from home meant hopping into the car to spend a few days at my aunt’s house or a day trip to the park to swim.

My dad often spent his vacation painting houses (ours or someone else’s), but on really hot days, he’d quit work early and drive an hour away so that we could swim and play in the sand on the beach by the lake. No cone-shaped piles of moistened sand for us. Dad made the best sand castles in the whole world. Using a bucket, discarded paper cup and beach shovel, he could fashion turrets and steps with a moat surrounding the exterior. Sometimes he even added a draw bridge. You could almost see Cinderella waving from the window. Passers-by would always stop to admire his handiwork. Now as I look back, I know he was spending quality time with me, and though I enjoyed it back then, today I recognize his efforts and really appreciate his building these lasting memories.

My parents, aunts and uncles have since passed away, and I would give anything to spend time today listening to their stories and learning more about them and their values. Money is still tight (some things never change), but because of my dad’s influence and his impact on me, the last few summers, I have made a concerted effort to spend quality time with my grandchildren. I did not build sand castles, – the trait must have been recessive – but we walked in the woods, worked on projects, visited some interesting places and played a lot of games. While we did these things, I listened and intentionally shared with them my values and perspectives.

I hope when my grandkids get older, they’ll understand that a gift of time is the best part of any vacation.

Why do you need to vacation?

Planning to go on vacation sounds like it should be the adventure of a lifetime. You think about your destination, dream about the wonderful time you’ll have and then plan to do it. The only problem with all of this is packing.

You’ve got to be ready for any and all weather, well most weather. Hopefully you won’t need snow gear in August. That said, it might be really hot, very comfortable or on the cool side. August temperatures can change ever so  quickly. Did I mention rain?

Oh, and what about the types of activities you’ll be involved in? You’ll need appropriate clothing changes to match your plans along with something extra in case you spill, rip or otherwise detect a stain you had not seen previously. How can you ever pack lightly, especially if you’re playing your activities by ear or are at the mercy of an inventive host? Did I mention shoes? They need to coordinate with your activities and your outfits too.

What about down time? Should you bring a book, game, sports equipment? What if you get a headache, stomach ache, or, perish the thought, a fever blister? You need to pack effective remedies so you don’t spoil your fun. And, don’t forget the cell phone charger, iPad, laptop to keep in touch.  If you don’t, you’ll be drowning in email when you return. Speaking of mail, did you contact the post office?

Why do you need a vacation? The answer is simple. You have to rest up after all of the packing otherwise you’ll have no energy to do all of the extra laundry when you return. (There will be other benefits too, but you’ll have to keep your eyes open or you might miss them.)

Winning combinations for freelancers

What’s the best thing about taking vacation? You might say it’s getting away from work, but if you have a home-based or freelancing business, you might find it advantageous to combine some work with your pleasure.

Last week we headed to the Adirondacks for a family graduation. Not only did we enjoy celebrating the occasion with family and friends we had not seen in quite awhile, but by spending a few extra days, we were able to spend quality time with some of our Takes3 Marketing clients as well as advance my sewing business. Besides both of these add-ons, I also obtained some fantastic ideas for my new e-zine (coming soon).  You can find ideas anywhere.

A summer visit to Speculator, NY provides a plethora of material for writers, artists and photographers. Besides the ambient splendor of the lakes and the mountains, you could explore the trails and mountain peaks, local eateries or merchant shops. Taking time to investigate the town might result in some interesting historical fact or personage. Ever hear of French Louie? He’s buried there. You could compare living in a tourist town to other places you have been or search out jewelry or other crafts prepared by local artisans. Getting to know their stories could provide even more leads for future stories. This summer there are a couple of new businesses to attract you. Pretty & Chic, a boutique featuring jewelry, handmade items as well as other items, is one that will be opening this weekend.

If you have a home-based business, you’ll want to make this extra effort to help your work because you may be able to make it pay at tax time too. Check out Ron Mueller’s book Home Business Tax Savings Made Easy.  If you keep good records and follow the rules, you may be very pleased.

Vacations are wonderful times to get away, and sometimes that extra rest or change of pace will trigger some fantastic benefits for your writing or other business. Vacation and work can be a winning combination for freelancers.