Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: The downsides of two-week vacations

Although I’m an advocate of two-week vacations, I feel the urge to warn you of some of the downsides. The first thing I want to note is that whilst on vacation most folks do whatever they want to do and in our case that would entail the following:

• Although my internal alarm clock is quite consistent at waking me at 6 a.m. CDT every morning, after three days into a two-week vacation I found myself waking around 9 a.m.; in addition to sleeping like a log, my body insisted that I nap from 1 to 2 p.m. CDT every day. Thus, unlike a normal work week, whilst on vacation I spent an extra four hours a day sleeping… so I evidently slept 12 hours each day of vacation… not very exciting report so far, huh?

• The peacefulness of mornings at the lake is hard to define, however the routine is fairly constant. Most mornings start with the usual bodily functions and shortly thereafter slip into an hour or so of coffee on the deck watching the lake wake up. Some mornings we make plans for the day, but most mornings we consume a couple pots of coffee before gathering enuf inertia to get up and do something.

• Once fully caffeinated I usually take a long walk around the neighborhood during which I usually come up with the chores for the day. After a few days out here the chores become the same – take out the garbage, water the lawn, gas up the toys, make the bed, close up the cabin before it gets too hot, make sure the beach stuff is operational, check the fishing poles, and then around 11 a.m. it’s time for brunch (usually pancakes, sausage, French toast, bacon etc.)… and that usually puts me within an hour of naptime. So while everyone else is up and ready to head to the beach I’m prepping for my nap.

• Unless I have a big project I’ve learned not to get too involved in planning a day around here, as it’s always better to leave that up to whoever is here. Most times the cabin is packed with grandkids and they get to decide what to do… swimming, tubing, jet skiing, pontooning, fishing, sand castle contests, floaties, beaching, games, movies, etc.

• By the time I get up from my nap the rest of the tribe is already doing whatever they decided to do, so my task is to find them and join in.

• The afternoons around here usually extend into early evening. By then everyone’s pretty fried by the sun and wrinkled by the lake, and the adults think it would be a good time to think about eating again…

• Once the tribe leaves the beach the oldsters in the family begin their cocktail hour whilst deciding what to cook and who gets to cook it… I usually avoid that too, as I’m busy entertaining my friends Sam and Bud.

Then we eat, torch up a campfire, and if I’m lucky I’ll be able to stay up until dark, at which point I have to go to bed and have no idea what happens after that.

So here I am at the end of my two-week vacation, which leads me to the second point I wanted to make. All vacations come to an end and reality (work) doesn’t really care is you have a vacation hangover. So now I have to readjust to a world of no naps, no cocktail hour, no beaches, no boats, whilst trying to figure out what I missed at work and how much I’m gonna have to pay for being away… Yep, been thinking that a permanent vacation might be something to strive for, and all I gotta do to get there is find someone willing to pay for it all…

Here’s hoping that you get to do whatever you wanna do when you get the time to do it…