We are conditioned to look forward to summer from a young age. But as we grow up, our summers gradually become more serious as our lifeguarding and baby-sitting gigs gradually turn into internships and “real person” jobs.
Last weekend marked the traditional beginning of summer — the season of cooking out on the grill, lying out by the pool and freaking out about whether your bathing suit still fits.
Summer is also a time for vacations — and not just family getaways to Disney World or the Wisconsin Dells or the Grand Canyon. At this time every year, students across the country gear up for their summer breaks.
Aside from a summer job or a reading list for next year’s English class, students don’t have much to worry about during their delightful three-month hiatus from classes.
As a result, we are conditioned to look forward to summer from a young age. But as we grow up, our summers gradually become more serious as our lifeguard and baby-sitting gigs gradually turn into internships and “real person” jobs.
Then suddenly we’re out of school and our summer breaks are gone. June, July and August become simply three more months on our work calendars.
Don’t get me wrong — I still look forward to summer. I love sunshine and warm weather and wearing flip-flops and swimming. But I’m sure you would agree that a three-month vacation would make summer even better.
After all, don’t we all deserve a break? We work hard all year round, and a summer vacation would give us a chance to relax and recharge. Plus, we would come back to work refreshed and ready for action; morale and productivity would increase at offices around the nation.
Let me tell you a little story that demonstrates how great time off from work can be: A few days ago, I woke up to sunlight streaming through my blinds and bolted out of bed in a panic. I have to be at work at 5 a.m., so I should be up well before the sun.
My clock proclaimed that it was 6:01 a.m., which was not OK. I jumped out of bed like an Olympic gymnast, wondering why my alarm hadn’t gone off and why my phone was not displaying missed calls from my co-workers wondering where I was.
As I frantically starting dialing the Times number to let them know that I would be in right away, I had a startling realization: It was Saturday. My alarm did not go off because I didn’t need to wake up early, and no one had called me because I didn’t have to be at work.
Once my heart palpitations settled down, I was overwhelmed with joy and relief. I had the whole day ahead of me to do whatever I wanted, and I savored every moment of that day off.
Now multiply that by three months. Wouldn’t you be overjoyed if you had an entire summer off of work?
Maybe once the federal government is finished dealing with the wars and the economy and all of the rest of the nation’s problems (which I’m sure will be any day now), they can hammer out a national Summer Vacation Plan.
Of course, the logistics would be difficult. These would have to be paid vacations in order for people to get very excited about them, and we couldn’t very well shut down the nation’s entire workforce for three months.
Maybe each business could divide its employees into thirds and give each group one summer month off. Or maybe employees could alternate weeks off throughout the whole summer.
Or maybe I should have thought this through a little better.
Oh well. I guess it’s impractical for everyone to have a summer break, so we’ll just have to enjoy the days off we already have. Especially in the summer.
Amanda Jacobs can be reached at (309) 346-1111 ext. 663 or email@example.com.