Invest in holidays: They pay off forever
The Hamilton Spectator
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I have very vivid memories of our family summer vacations as a kid.
My parents were factory workers, my dad a printer and my mother in a cosmetics factory. They worked very hard to give us all they could and every summer, no matter how bad the economy; we had a two week vacation, somewhere.
My earliest memories were of the small two room cabins our extended family would rent every summer at Wasaga Beach. My dad still has the 8mm movies of us kids running through the waves and building sand castles, in a time when he still had hair.
We took up camping, at my dad’s suggestion, as we got older and our extended family too large. I still can’t imagine packing three kids into a loaded, tightly wound, sedan and heading down the open road towing a tent trailer like my parents did. Did I mention the dog?
Every time we pulled out of a parking lot the trailer hitch would hit bottom leaving a furrow in the pavement that could win you a blue ribbon at the plowing match. That was usually followed by a loud curse from the front seat.
Forget camping in a tent. My mother had to have more underneath her at night than a rubber mattress. She also loves a flush toilet and having her away from one for even a moment meant for tense times around the camp fire.
That is the reason, after only a few summers with the tent trailer, we upgraded to a house trailer. If my mother was going to continue camping she wanted to be pulling something down the highway with a ‘loo’ in it.
This was chirping crickets and hooting owls to my dad’s ears. He convinced mom it was a worthy purchase and had us hooked up in no time. Soon we embarked on a vacation to the U.S. and had a Myrtle Beach ritual for years after, filled with equally funny times.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in day-to-day life we forget we have to pause and create those memories for ourselves and our family.
Once I started my own career I worked for 10 years before ever taking a vacation. Finally a boss at the time said the radio station was implementing a new policy and I had to take my vacation every year or lose it.
It wasn’t as if I needed a vacation. I love what I do and I was single without any responsibility other than myself.
With that, I borrowed a cousin’s cottage the last week of August and was reintroduced to the art of leisure. I realized I was missing out on a part of life that is needed to be whole: time for yourself, your friends and family, what ever the make up.
Soon I bought a small cottage, even though some family and friends said I was nuts. I should be looking at a starter home, they advised. Why? I didn’t need a house.
In retrospect it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Now my young family is creating its own memories every summer similar to those my parents gave us back at Wasaga Beach.
The reason I’m thinking of this now is we just added another adventure to the family bucket list. For the first time we went to Disney World. (That is a whole other column.)
What I saw in my own kid’s eyes was that similar magical twinkle that was captured by my dad’s super 8mm years ago at Wasaga Beach.
Vacations are an essential part of growth.
As dad once proudly said from behind the wheel, “You’ll rarely hear someone on their death bed say, ‘I wished I had worked more’”.
The Scott Thompson Show airs weekdays noon-3pm on News/Talk 900 CHML.
Visit his website at www.ScottThompsonTalk.com