On the Disney cartoon, “Phineas and Ferb”, Phineas always makes the proclamation, “I know what we are going to do today,” and off the boys go to create something fantastic that leads to some sort of adventure for that one day. This is how these cartoon characters spend their summer vacation. There are many mornings where I would love to wake up and say to Debbie, “I know what we are going to do today” or “I know what we are going to do this week.” If I randomly woke up and said that, I am pretty sure the response would be something along the lines of “Don’ you have work today?” or “Did you check the red book?” or “That’s nice, did you reset the alarm for me?” Oh, that red book I mentioned, that is the book for our calendar. If it is not written in the red book, the event does not exist.
Our lives have become so structured, acts of spontaneity need to have a scheduled time to exist. Do not get me wrong, planning our time, as in structuring our days, does provide us with the opportunity to be more productive. The accountant and project manager in me understands this implicitly, however, the creative, musician side of me does not. Having recently returned from a great vacation shortly before writing this has probably also tainted my thinking. As is usually the case, I now long for a time in my life where I can wake up, decide to hop on a plane and go somewhere on short notice. I do not do extended vacations, but a few days here and there…Instead I let my imagination run wild about visiting some exotic locale, where everyone speaks perfect English and looks like the people that I know. Not reality! My wife tends to be more pragmatic, in that we have something to look forward to by planning a trip next year.
I think that as kids, we do not realize how great it is to have off during the summer. A vacation from school for approximately two months in elementary through high school and then three or more months in college. And, during that vacation, you can be at camp (which is what I did growing up – Go, Camp Echo Lark), hang with your friends, or OMG, maybe if you are lucky; go on vacation during your vacation! Can you imagine telling your boss that you are taking summer break with your kids? OK, we can all imagine that, but if you want to work and provide for your family, those words are never uttered. My father, at the end of a vacation, would offer his sage words that going back to our every day routine makes you appreciate the vacations even more, because if every day you were on vacation, there would not be a vacation.
“There’s 104 days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it.”