The odd couple of vacation planning

My wife knew I was going to give her a hard time about it, but she asked anyway.

Should she pack shorts or jeans when we go to Chicago?

We’re not actually going for another six weeks, and I always tease her about how obsessively she plans.

She even has a printed checklist that she can’t plan without.

As for me, I may have to take some inventory, but my packing planning basically consists of “Check weather. Bring a week’s worth of outfits for every possibility. Make sure I have electronic devices and plugs. Hope suitcase zips. Hope it isn’t overweight at the airport.” (It never has been, and I’m shocked every time.)

If I’m feeling especially inspired, I might … might … start pulling this together two or three days before we leave. Otherwise, it’s the day before.

When I tease my wife about her planning, she correctly points out that not only does she have to pack all her stuff, she’s in charge of all the logistics: guidebooks, boarding passes, passports and European outlets and so on.

I just have to be sure not to lose the Cubs tickets, and they’re on my phone.

In other words, don’t lose my phone.

By the way, we’ll check forecasts — my main planning obsession is probably extended forecasts — but on average, temperatures in Chicago and Madison are in the low-to-mid 70s for highs and upper 40s to mid-50s for lows.

That probably means shorts for the daytime and jeans at night.

“Labor laws would probably look quite different if workers returned from vacation or long weekends in rebellious or feckless moods. Furthermore, a planned absence within a company allows whoever is temporarily taking up the absentee’s duties to gain experience in a role they do not usually occupy. This allows a company to develop a pool of workers with more diverse skills.”

— “Vacation seems like it frees us from work. That’s what work wants us to think.” Brian O’Connor, The Washington Post

Every place I’ve ever worked, absences have meant one thing … everyone else having to do more work.

In my current job, I plan the vacation schedule, and it’s a part of the job I strongly dislike. I have a staff of about 20, and they already have too much on their plates, so I almost feel guilty when I ask any of them to cover.

It’s really stressful around the holidays, because even though I have guidelines, I like to say yes whenever I can. Even though it’s anathema to my philosophy of not talking about Christmas before Thanksgiving, I sounded the alarm about having to work on Christmas Eve in March.

Of course, that was because someone on my staff asked for Christmas Eve off in March.

“It’s not uncommon, after all, to hear people report their delight at getting back to work at the end of their vacation. The structure of the workday, together with the clear purposes of its tasks, is easier to handle than time when we have to find fresh activities to stave off boredom.“

Other than parents who I see posting on Facebook that they’re excited for summer vacation to end because that means the kids are going back to school, who are these people delighted at getting back to work after vacation?

Are they the people who can’t let go of work even when they’re on vacation?

Because I’m miserable when I get back from vacation. It was an oddity during my last vacation to London and Edinburgh to acknowledge it was time to go home, even as great as the vacation was, and not get grumpy about it.

I’m not going on vacation for almost six weeks — and packing for it in almost six weeks, minus a day or two — and I already can’t wait.

The photo of Chicago at the top of the post is from skeeze on Pixabay.

10 thoughts on “The odd couple of vacation planning

  1. Magical Mystical Mimi

    I always find myself wishing I was a bazillionaire because I always want to have my home but then another place wherever I’m vacationing! – I plan to a degree but I usually end up having to buy something I forgot to bring.

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  2. After a trip, I’m happy to get back home , jump on my bed- and think about my next trip! Would be nice to be a thousandaire at this point. I could take a couple of day trips with that little bit of money . Have fun in Chicago. Wrigley is definitely on the bucket list

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  3. Johanna Galyen, Christian Life Coach at Glowing Still

    We leave for our next vacation in 34 days, and preparing for this one has been so much fun! I’m already buying stuff that we need, booking the hotel for the drive down, planning the route, and downloading movies for the kid’s devices for the 10 hour drive. I hope your time away is fun and relaxing.

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  4. Pingback: Making up the vacation as you go – A Silly Place

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