One of the things that was rough about our first six months or so in Florida is that I took almost no time off. It's the trap you fall into when you work a contract job, because you don't get paid when you don't work. If that weren't enough, I was marathon saving for the house down payment. I was pretty burned out at that point.
There are some people who do nothing but work, neglecting most everything else in life that matters. Those people generally strike me as miserable. Even if you like what you do, you need to disconnect and take time off. American culture seems so against this for some reason. I used to bank a ton of time at my first "real" job, and I don't think I really understood the value of unplugging until I had no choice (when I was first laid-off, after about five years of post-college work). While that was a difficult time, at first it wasn't so much scary as it was a relief.
A vacation doesn't have to be a trip, though if you can afford it, you certainly should get away. There's something to be said for breaking your routine. Nothing exercises your mind like thinking about something different, or nothing at all. It restores perspective.
The problem I have is that I live where I took countless vacations, and I make the mistake that I feel like I am taking little vacations. This week, for example, some of our friends from Seattle were in town, visiting Walt Disney World. We went out to meet them for a few hours on Sunday, then again on Wednesday after work. We had such a good time, and my focus was entirely in the moment, enjoying their company. (They were part of our parents group, and Simon hasn't seen his friend in a little over three years.) We have days like this at least once a month, and they kind of push off the fact that we haven't had any extended time to engage in recreation.
And by the way, it's not just for me in my day job, but Diana's general household operation and supervision of Simon, along with her part-time job, is every bit as much work as my job.
We do have something on the books this summer that will go four or five days, and I welcome that. It should be a lot of fun, and we can mostly unplug and relax. We're still parents, but we're not engaged in our daily routine for trips like that. And by the way, that's why I like the cruises, even if they're not particularly original at this point. We show up, they float around and feed us, and you don't really need to think about anything. No usable Internet access either.
Use your vacation time, folks.