Vacation. In America, most of us get a couple of weeks a year to unwind, see new sights and recharge. We’re an industrious lot. Two weeks is all we need to be highly productive workers for the other fifty. Europeans, however, get something like six months off a year. They’re not American though, and so they don’t get it. To make a mark in this world means keeping your nose to the grindstone. Ben Franklin said so. Recharging is for pussies. It’s best to be working all the time. Or at least give everyone around you that impression.

We’re about to set off on our two weeks tomorrow, and I have to admit that I feel a little guilty. I mean, it’s two weeks in a row. I won’t be working. Much. But pardon me if I pretend like I am. After all, I’m an American. We’re not supposed to let loose and have fun – unless it’s at an office function. That’s why if someone sends me an email while I’m away and it’s regarding an urgent matter for a marketing effort I lead, I’ll drop whatever it is that I’m doing to respond diligently. Solving problems doesn’t take a day off. We’ve all got to be ready at any time. And that means donning a shirt and tie while on holiday. Because God knows, we’re too important to just disappear for ten whole working days.

But here’s the deal – I’m a pussy. I need to recharge. My little brain is so overrun with deadlines, commitments and consumption that I can’t even sort out my own thoughts without escaping every once in a while. Plus, I’m a writer. I need this in order to simplify. So we’re going to a familiar beach and staying in a familiar house so that from the time we arrive tomorrow we’ll be comfortable enough to absolutely unwind. And then in two weeks, I’ll return refreshed and ready to conquer the business world once again. As far as you know.


Jim Mitchem is getting rumbled in the image above.

Klondike Perfection in :30

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.