Thursday, August 23, 2012

CNN said: "We dare you to take a vacation!" Or do retirees even need one?

A Vacation Sunset
I saw an article on CNN Travel called I Dare You to Take a Vacation that made me stop and wonder about the nature of retirement's relationship to leisure. Are retirement and leisure the same thing? Or is it only those that dream of retirement that see it as a never ending vacation?

Do you love to work and will never retire?  Are you even ignoring vacation time because you just don't need one? Or have you retired and you look at your life as a paid vacation with no responsibilities or work piling up?  Do you wonder why you would even need a vacation when you are retired? Or have you gone the other way and slipped into the habit of making retirement into a job. No one can replace you and you are  thinking you do not have time for anyone or anything. You definitely don't need a vacation.  Do any of these describe you?

Here are some thoughts how a vacation can improve your life.

Reigniting Your Enthusiasm
If you are still working and plan to do that all your life, you have truly found what we all would like to have...a job that brings you satisfaction. You may not need a rest or to escape from the job but there are other reasons you need a vacation.

If you work in a healthy way, you know that a break now and then reignites your enthusiasm for what you do daily. If you are the type of person that cannot leave the job behind, take it with you!  Just change the scenery and the air you breath. Creativity will increase when you are not doing anything but letting your mind wander. You will see better ways of doing what you do and the time will not be wasted.  I dare you to take a vacation...double dog dare you!

Leisure can Kill Too! 
We all know that we cannot or should not sit down and wait to die when we retire. Just like too much work, to much leisure can be a killer too. Retirement, especially in this era, can actually be a second adulthood. We all face the possibility of living a very long time. I see more and more people that are acting very young and talk about working until they are 65+ without any regret.  The period between the age of 60 and death can and should be productive in some way. A person's physical and mental health depends on it. It is a balancing act.

A man told me recently that he left his business at retirement age but spent the next year working regular hours on a house he was remodeling. He was afraid that he could not not work! It occurred to me that retirement probably shouldn't be about never working again. For this man a job, either as a volunteer or at a part time employment, was the answer to his person retirement satisfaction.

What he did was find the perfect place for his busy mind so he could enjoy a lifestyle he loves.  He scored a job as a marshal at his golf course and obviously is very good at it. The job pays minimum wage and gives him free golf at his golf course plus reciprocal at other golf courses.  He and his wife enjoy their very expensive hobby for free.

Moving and learning will keep us happy and healthy for a long time. Those vacation breaks are a necessity I think. Maybe the barometer for our productivity is how much we even need a vacation. I don't know about you but I need to want to go on a short vacation once in a while. When I feel that need for leisure, I know I have been doing something worthwhile with my days. Even a man that gets free golf needs to go camping.

When I dare you to take a vacation, I do not mean for you to go home to lean against a post. I mean that you should live a healthy balanced lifestyle each and every day.  Eat a little, work a little, read a little and vacation a little. I dare you!

How do you vacation?
So what are you afraid of?  YOU are allowed to go on vacation! In fact, I dare you to leave your children and grandchildren or your job for a few days, weeks or months. Really, none of those people will be unhappy to see you leave and they will be glad to see you come home. Maybe they need a vacation (from you) too.

So that brings me back to the question:  Do you ever take a real vacation? I hope the answer is yes. Even in a our retirement world, we need a change of scenery and relief from the work-a-day hum drum to keep us fresh, alive and active. Give it some thought and let me know.


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