Russ Batenhorst Squeezing in a post-vacation vacation day


Famed motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said that the busiest day a person has at work each year is the day before they go on vacation. You know how it is. Those little tasks you’ve left on a list or cluttered on your desk that need to get done someday, along with those that need to get done right now, all get closer scrutiny the day before you know you’re not going to be there for a while.

You dive right in and get many of them done, leaving a few that just couldn’t quite fit in that last day and that need to be there as incentive for you to come back. As if the stuff that you know is going to be added on while you’re gone isn’t enough.

I had one of those days late last week, and Zig was right, I accomplished quite a bit before jumping out for a few days. It sure makes it a lot easier to enjoy your time away if you know you didn’t leave a huge stack of things to do right away when you get back.

Being the highly motivated kind of guy that he was, I’m sure Ziglar’s theory didn’t include people coming back hoping that nothing had been added and they could ease into things; but that’s what I’m hoping when I report back the day after this was written.

That’s right, I did manage to squeeze in a little vacation within the last week. It was wrapped around the weekend to make it feel longer. And if the day before I left was supposed to be one of my busiest, let me announce my theory for one of the favorite days of the work year — the day after getting back from a trip and before going back to work.

Whenever you can pull that off, I would highly recommend it. It’s not that all the vacation time I take — both extended and mini-vacations — includes a trip, but when it does, I really like to have that buffer back to reality built in.

The reality for a lot of circumstances around here is that if your trip included air travel, you likely had a drive up to 2 1/2 hours to get home after your flight. That could also mean a late arrival home, so sleeping in is a great way to start that last day before going back to the real world.

From there, there might be a lawn that needs mowed or a stack of laundry that needs done or whatever else that just works out better without work. If you plan it to hit a twoday weekend, all the better, but at least one day helps a lot.

Whenever a person is on vacation, there are a few things that have traditionally been done to enhance the experience. The high-tech version of that involves the push of one little button: the power button on your cellphone. I managed to survive even while keeping mine turned off for decent amounts of time now and then.

It wasn’t always feasible; my wife and I were traveling with another couple and to have the phone on to communicate within the group was helpful. Or it was the occasional source of information and road maps.

So, don’t get me wrong, having the phone with you can be a tremendous asset, but when it can go dark, I let it. I know if there’s a family crisis, people will likely trip my wife’s phone first anyway. But it makes it a lot easier to resist the temptation of checking emails or taking calls when it’s not on in the first place.

As for the trip itself, well, I don’t want to bore you with the details. It would be the print version of sitting through a slide show. Just suffice it to say there’s a certain city in the desert whose establishments can still turn on their bright lights at night — I didn’t take all their money.

And, besides, I’m told what happens there is supposed to stay there.

Enough said.



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