The Price of a Vacation

What is the cost of a vacation? I’m not referring to the cost of airplane tickets, the hotel, the cruise, the meals, activities, etc. I mean the less obvious costs. As I write this, I have just spent 2 days, well, maybe 1½, in a crunch time mode ensuring that all client work is under control prior to taking a vacation. That all the bills are paid, many earlier than normal, that payroll which happens while we’re away is handled. I’ve planned and coordinated, all for the reason of not being in the office for a little more than 2 weeks. The vacation trip is a big deal. It is something long planned and anticipated. It will be fun and we’re going to be busy. The fort will be held down. But, getting to this point, when I only have 1 more major step to go, takes a great deal of effort beyond everyday work – I had to do some of that also. And, I know what will await me on return. Piles of mail, mostly bills, newspapers to catch up on, calls to return (I hope), and appointments to keep or make. I am sure that, in most professional jobs, this is the norm. But, when you own/operate/manage a business, there is an extra layer of work that doesn’t happen when one is otherwise employed. Is it worth it? While I may briefly wonder, the answer is a resounding YES. It is what we work for. It is what we need to reboot our brains, to flush the stresses out and recharge for the next cycle. That alone is exciting. But now, the anticipation of leaving on that big jet airliner to carry me far far away is peaking and I’ll sign off. Cherrio.

David wrote his part of this post before our fantastic vacation to the land of The Beatles, while I am writing my part after our return home. We had a wonderful vacation; it was the trip of a lifetime and a dream come true! Getting ready for it, as well as recovering from it, however, is not something of which dreams are made. As owners of a small business, David and I must ensure: our bills are paid (both business and personal) during our absence; our employees have work to keep them occupied while they are left unsupervised; our clients’ needs are met, including asking them if they can wait until we resume our work to return their call, prepare their proposal, etc. (some are willing to wait, while others are not); and importantly, being ready to get back to work as soon as possible upon returning home. Returning from this vacation also had another, unforeseen, cost in the form of a hurricane that was a threat to our area. Although David and I coordinated with people with whom we entrusted our office and our home, ensuring they were instructed about what to do if a hurricane came during our absence, we were nonetheless taken aback when we arrived home, only to find hurricane preparedness was imminent. In a state of jet lagged, exhausted, post vacation depression, we soon sprung into action to secure first, our office, then our home in the event the hurricane became a reality. Fortunately, both David and I love our jobs and the company we have co-owned for over 25 years, such that returning to work is something we look forward to, instead of dread. Having more responsibilities than anyone who works for someone else is, at least for me, a trade off in allowing me the flexibility to take a vacation. The costs are worth the lifetime of memories I will have about our dream vacation. Now, let’s get to work!

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