I don’t take many vacations.
You won’t see me fishing off Martha’s Vineyard, even if I received a free weekend pass in the mail personally signed by Martha herself. You won’t find me on the slopes of Aspen with a pair of skis strapped to my flat feet. Trees, skis and me don’t play well together.
It’s not that I don’t like vacations. On the contrary, I enjoy taking a few days off to unwind. Everybody needs an occasional break to recharge your batteries.
Even Lenny Kravitz wants to get away sometimes.
The primary reason I don’t take more vacation time is, work often doesn’t take a break at the same time I do. The sight of a week’s worth of undone tasks piled up on your desk on a Monday morning has the tendency to drain all the blood from one’s face, making it really difficult to maintain that vibrant, post-vacation luster.
I don’t enjoy traveling as much as I once did. I’ve never been afraid to fly (although my arms get tired after an hour) but frankly I’d rather walk barefoot through a room full of Legos than go through the airport screening process. Bless their hearts, the security guys at the Birmingham airport can see me coming for a mile. I have never had surgery (that I can recall) so there are no metal objects embedded inside my body, and yet I always have to go through the scanner several times, remove my belt and shoes, raise both arms high, face this way, feet apart, and perform various tasks, like reciting the “Now is the winter of our discontent” speech from Richard III in the original Klingon dialect or juggling a bowling ball and a copy of Tolstoy’s War and Peace Unabridged. By the time they’ve determined I’m probably not a terrorist, I’m wearing a turban made of bananas and dancing like Carmen Miranda.
There was a time in the distant past when I did some traveling, and I actually enjoyed it. I’ve seen the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. I’ve toured the home of Betsy Ross. I stood on the roof of the Twin Towers on a cold December night and marveled at the lights of the Brooklyn Bridge. I once saw a Stetson-wearing man driving a replica of the 1966 Batmobile through downtown Greenville, South Carolina. I’ve been to Valley Forge. I’ve climbed the stairs to the top of Barnegat Lighthouse in New Jersey and peered through the window at the miles of ocean below. I’ve stood on the shore of Long Beach Island at dawn, wiping sleep from my eyes while hoping to get a photo of the sunrise, only to have the shot obscured by fog. I rode a train from Trenton, New Jersey to Grand Central Station, took a subway to Central Park, and schlepped all the way to Times’ Square. I haven’t been to Paris or Istanbul or London or Dubai, but I’ve been around.
In the halcyon, pre-9/11 days of my youth, I never hesitated to go on vacation. Taking a week off is a piece of cake when you’re 18 years old and you bag groceries for a paycheck. Life goes on while you’re away.
Now I’m older..well, more seasoned. I have articles to write. Deadlines to meet. Videos and photos to edit. Blogs to finish. Staff meetings. People to interview. Mountains to scale. Worlds to conquer.
However, I’m also human and we homo sapiens require occasional time off to snorkel in the Caribbean or sit in the sand for hours sipping on drinks with tiny umbrellas and watch Hawaiian guys juggle flaming torches. All work and no play makes Jack a candidate for job burnout. Even our Creator took a day off.
I truly enjoy what I do for a living. It allows me to use the creative part of my brain, but sometimes I need a little break. I don’t care who you are, sometimes you just have to just book a flight, brave airport security, and fly away.
You can’t argue with Lenny Kravitz. 78