Turn snow drifts into sand castles

David Trinko - Contributing columnist

Maybe it was shoveling the snow again Saturday morning, after having to move the giant drifts last weekend.

Perhaps it was dealing with school delays or cancellations four straight days last week.

Or it could be looking at a projected negative high temperatures this week.

Whatever the reason, my brain’s been thinking about taking my body on vacation someplace warm and sandy lately, with a strong possibility of rum-soaked drinks at my destination.

Something tells me I’m not alone. Tuesday was National Plan For Vacation Day, and the U.S. Travel Association wants you to think wisely about those paid days off from work.

These vacation protagonists tell you that vacations strengthen personal relationships, inspire creative thinking, improve professional performance, boost your physical and mental health and stimulate the economy.

I’ll just say vacations are better than working. Even if you love your job, which I do most of the time, it’s still better to get paid not to do it, especially if you’re someplace warm.

That’s why it stuns me to learn that more than half of Americans failed to use all their vacation time in 2017, leaving 705 million unused vacation days on the table.

Apparently, Ohio ranks eighth in unused vacation days, according to the U.S. Travel Association, with 76,000 vacation days unused in 2017.

I would love to criticize that number, but as I look back at 2017, I left a few days behind, too. At my work, those days don’t carry over. You use them or lose them, and I lost them.

We all convince ourselves we’re irreplaceable, that there’s no possible way you could take that time off. We’re good at deceiving ourselves that way, especially in a place that prides itself in work ethic as much as our region does. Perhaps it’s better to consider what Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks once sang, “How can I miss you when you won’t go away?”

My wife is the real pro at planning vacations. To her credit, she’s already locked up the arrangements for our summertime soirees. She found us someplace close to a beach (which is pretty much heaven in my eyes) with access to a swimming pool (which is pretty much heaven in the eyes of our children).

I’ve also accumulated enough years here to get an awful lot of vacation days. I’ve wised up, knowing I have more vacation days available than spending money to enjoy them. Instead, I’ll use mine periodically when there’s a school activity or doctor’s appointment for one of the children. I used one day last week, and I’ll use another Monday. It’s a sure fire way to make what could’ve been a stressful day of taking a few hours off from work into an easy day, rolling from activity to activity.

Take advantage of this icy weather coming our way. It’s a great time to daydream about sandy beaches and fruit-flavored cocktails in between shoveling drifts of snow while trying not to freeze.

David Trinko is managing editor of The Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest.


David Trinko

Contributing columnist