Monday, 25 June 2018

Poetry Monday: Vacation Days

It's Poetry Monday, and the theme is "vacation days."

Join Diane, Delores and me in our poetry adventure . . . read a poem, write a poem, leave a poem on any of our blogs or on your own -- just be sure and let us know how to find you by leaving a comment with your blog address.

*****

My working life is far from onerous compared to that of most people. My working hours are flexible and part-time. The schedule that works best for me and for my employer is to work part of every weekday, as opposed to working a couple of days and having a couple of days off. Working part of every day provides me with a predictable daily structure (very important for a procrastinator!) and also provides my employer with daily feedback on what work has been completed. So the daily grind, although shorter than it is for many folks, is still daily. However, the work ebbs and flows, and I look forward to slack times, because that's when I take my vacation days.

Whenever those days are approaching, I wait with great anticipation for "time off" to start, but when it finally does, I seem to spend a lot of it thinking about the passage of time and how many days have gone by and how many are left to enjoy. This poem feels kind of dark at the end -- but so does a vacation that's about to wind down!

*****

Tick Tock

In many ways
Vacation days
Are just the same
As other days

We have to wash
We have to eat
We have to brush
We have to sleep

The vital point
That separates
The holidays
From working days

Is not the sand
And not the sun
And not the place
And not the pace

Oh no my friend
It's not the fun
It's not "To Do's"
That must get done

It's just that voice
Inside our heads
The one that beats
The one that thrums

The one that counts
Like beads on wire
How many days
How many hours

How much freedom
Still in store
Until vacation
Is no more





*****



Do you have that voice counting down the time whenever you have "time off"? I don't think you need to be in a paid job to experience this effect. I used to be a stay-at-home mom and still went through this whenever I had slow days that I knew would be followed by busy times.

Or maybe it's an introvert thing? Slow days usually mean more time to myself, which keeps me on an even keel. Busy days wear me out. Sometimes I wish I could be an extrovert for a day and see what it feels like!

Update:  Next week's theme is "people that we know" . . .


42 comments:

  1. I am a true introvert. Busy days where I am alone are fine. Days where I have to interact with others are a whole different kettle of fish. It isn't (really it isn't) that I don't like people or I am not interested in them, I just need a lot of time on my own to recharge.
    And yes, being an extrovert (briefly) would be educational.

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    1. A big yes to everything you said :) Recharging time (and a lot of it) is essential to me too.

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  2. Awesome poem . We do count. When we're older, believe it or no,t the count becomes less important.

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  3. Not working now means that little voice is gone and I haven't been on a "vacation" or holiday in years. Like your poem though.

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  4. I don't think I ever took the time off when I got vacation time at work, I always took the money instead. No, I think I did once, when I was in my twenties.
    I definitely do know the feeling you describe in your poem, though, as free time has always been scarce when I was employed, and without taking vacation days, I had to juggle shifts with coworkers to do things like attend concerts and the like.
    And speaking of concerts, this subject reminds me of a song from an old Canadian band called Klaatu. The song is called "Everybody Took A Holiday" and you can read the lyrics here:

    https://genius.com/Klaatu-everybody-took-a-holiday-lyrics

    or listen to it here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_O0ltzBlLs

    People said they sounded a lot like the Beatles, and on this song you can see why they said that.
    They mention 1985 in the song... it was written in 1978.

    Anyway, I like your poem, and I hope you get enough time to yourself to stay sane and happy.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. We've never been into going away for holidays, except a few times when our kids were growing up. These days we just try to rest up!

      That band does sound like the Beatles, doesn't it?

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  5. As a dj my life is so unstructured that I'm not sure where work ends and vacations begin, but I really like your poem because in a way it relates to the passing of time and how much we have left. Or how little if you want to be really depressing.

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    1. Yeah ... I tend to go the cup-half-empty route when it comes to vacation time, lol

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  6. My precious Jenny I MISSED READING YOUR SHARING SOOO MUCH !

    i have worked several times in my life the longest part was almost 4 years when i was assisting pharmacist in a pharmaceutical company and i can understand the strive of "working person" for vacations
    yes it happens when after looong term of business we get some time off our senses do not absorb the true essence of "freedom for while" and clock fit inside us keep irritating us with tick tock tick tock tick tock which keep reminding us that there is huge amount of "TO DO" list
    will be reading you posts that i missed my friend when i will be back to my home and routine
    Hugs!
    LOVED and ENJOYED the poem ,GREAT!!!

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    1. You have described that inner clock exactly, baili :)

      You have been missed around blogland! I hope your time away has brought you many new happy memories to add to those you already have of your home region.

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  7. When I was working I looked forward to weekends and days off, now I just look forward to any day that doesn't have loads of washing scheduled or appointments away from home.

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    1. I hear you, River. I dislike appointments far more than I feel is reasonable, but I can't help it!

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  8. Hi Jenny, vacation days for me are when I can forget everything and just relax. The coast here is a hundred miles away, so we can think of what we’re going to do in a short space of time. It usually means we pitch a tent up and take it easy. Is it ever ‘easy’ though? We’re forced into enjoying ourselves when all we want is to be left alone. That’s the grim reality. Nothing goes right.

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    1. Yes, vacations can be a lot of work and not very enjoyable if we're trying to live up to other peoples' expectations of what we should be doing!

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  9. Every day feels like vacation now since I retired. I hope the countdown to the END doesn’t replace the countdown to the end of vacation. Lol. It hasn’t yet anyway.

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    1. You know, that's just what I was thinking as I wrote this, Marie. I'm already kind of thinking that way, so . . . probably it will be even worse when I stop working!

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  10. Such a fun poem! I structure my week so that I can have total slack days. As an introvert, this is important. Gotta recharge those batteries!

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  11. I am an introvert in an extrovet’s clothing. I learned to do this to survive but that pit in my stomach has grown larger in the past few years.

    I loved your poem. Vacation time was so precious to me when I worked and some of my best memories with my family were made during them. Now everyday is Saturday and I no longer pay attention to time. I try to concentrate only on today because that is all I have.

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    1. That is a good approach. I wish I could remember to do that. There always seems to be an undercurrent of worry in my head about the next appointment, the next occasion I will be over-extended, the next crisis, wherever it comes from. I need to live in the day instead.

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  12. I am 75 years old. For at least the last fifty years, probably more, any time I am away from home, at bedtime my head says to me "Four more days and I'll go home." I've concluded it's part of sanity.

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    1. Yes! That, too, is familiar to me. And I can never get home quickly enough.

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  13. I liked your poem... anticipation leading to a growing sense of gloom. The word "vacation" is very rarely used in England. "Vacation" is seen as an Americanism. In education one always enjoyed long summer holidays - which intensified that sense of anticipation followed by the gloom on the horizon. After six weeks I had almost forgotten what it was like to be a teacher.

    SUMMER
    It stretched out before us
    Like a biblical valley
    Lush and green
    Promising adventures unseen
    Like a longed for dream
    That might last forever
    Well, almost.
    But as happy August days
    Were ticked away
    And cold September loomed
    You felt your heartstrings tautening
    And liberty was doomed.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We took a similar view of holidays! Funny, I never used to mind summer vacation being over when I was a kid, or even when I went to university. Maybe that says something about the work I do now.

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  14. Replies
    1. The vacation days are never long enough, Diane! :)

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  15. Oh yes....Fridays were desperately long as we waited to get out of work, Satirdays were spend catching up on all the work at home and Sundays were ruined because all we could think of was 'I have to go to work tomorrow'.

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    1. Yes, it even applies to weekend time, doesn't it!!

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  16. The poem is especially good this week.

    Love,
    Janie

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  17. I really like your poem although, especially
    "We have to wash
    We have to eat
    We have to brush
    We have to sleep"

    Even when I am not working, I am working.
    I have mostly managed not to feel impending doom in relation to holidays ending so that's a plus.

    I'm extroverted but on the mild side of the scale and I can be exhausted by being out or around people but I also start to die a little if I can't get out. It's a tough balance. Go figure

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    1. Thanks, kylie. I appreciate that you commented on that part; I really do put some thought into my choice of words :) And your comment "even when I am not working, I am working" captures the same idea.

      I get what you say about balance. Even liking my alone time as I do, I start to feel isolated if I am alone too much.

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  18. I'm on "vacation days" now, and I'm not counting them down. I usually don't enter that headspace until they're almost over, in August! But by then, honestly, I'm usually missing the structure and focus of work so I'm ready to go back.

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    1. I think school related summer holidays are a whole different thing from other jobs just by virtue of the extended time involved. I can understand why you'd look forward to going back in the fall. Too much lolling around can be difficult, too :)

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  19. I completely agree! I rarely take an actual vacation (I believe a 'vacation' is supposed to mean 'a day without doing some form of work'...?) so if I ever have a day where I don't do any work at all, I can hear the countdown clock ticking!

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    1. Yep . . . ticking right down to the big gong at the very end :)

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  20. I do hope you are putting these poems into a collection.

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    1. Er, no. At some point, hopefully before Blogger implodes and I lose everything, I will print or hand copy them to a journal to keep. But I'm not losing any sleep over it. They are just fun to write. And then impose on my bloggy friends.

      Wait, maybe that's not a good thing to do to bloggy friends ...

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  21. love that poem! maybe introversion is a may 3 thing. i need those solitary days too, but not too many in a row, such a tricky balance.

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    1. Hah! You are the only person I've ever met with the same birthday as me, so I'd say your theory is 100% correct :D

      It is a tricky balance for sure. Usually life seems to hand us feast or famine, nothing in between.

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