I've come to the conclusion that the average one week vacation, really takes about three.
Now I know sometimes my math skills are not up to snuff. But, hear me out.
One week = 7 days = (really equals) about 21 days. And sometimes more! Because in reality, one week's vacation takes up way more time than just one week.
I can honestly say this because I just took a week's vacation a few weeks ago and for the full week leading up to that vacation, I spent my days running around like a crazy lady to get things organized. I pulled almost everything out of my closet looking for a few hidden sundresses that I wanted to pack. I had piles started so that I didn't forget to actually put the stuff in the suitcase. And then I did end up forgetting something (see: Never Send A Man To Buy A Bra). I had multiple lists made for this and that. I had cat sitter schedules that I needed to finalize. I had presents for those cat sitters that I needed to buy. I had treats to purchase for my furbabies so they didn't think their mommy had abandon them. I had treats to make for us humans so the road trip didn't seem so long. I had stuff for my job that I needed to work ahead on so that someone else didn't have to pick up the slack while I was gone. And on top of all this, I didn't want to leave my house looking like a tornado went through it when I left for vacation because that same tornadic debris would be greeting me when I walked back through the door in a week's time. And who wants that?
Now mind you: All this for just one person (me) to go on one week's vacation (to Ohio). Imagine if I had an entire family to organize. Holy crap. I'd probably never want to venture anywhere!
I was seriously exhausted at that point. And I hadn't even loaded all my crap into the car.
(If you're doing the math in your head, we're 7 days in already, merely in Vacation Prep Mode.)
And then: The actual vacation.
I will say that no matter where you go on vacation, it's always nice just to get away. I had travelled to Florida back in March and while I still long for those white, sandy beaches and crystal blue water again, Ohio was definitely worth all the fuss. I thought that in my week's stay in the Buckeye State, I would have plenty of time to visit with everyone I hadn't seen in forever. I had some picnics and parties to attend, a Cleveland Indians baseball game to go to, and my birthday to celebrate. It was non-stop laughing and good times, but it was over so fast.
The week flew by! All seven days, gone! Just like that. And then I arrived home.
(Ok, mathematicians- 7 days of Vacation Prep, 7 days of Actual Vacation, and now we're in the 3rd week.)
I can't get caught up. My travel bags are still in need of unpacking. My suitcase is still pretty much full. I keep taking things out of it on an "as needed" basis. As soon as I got home I took out my bathroom essentials, of course. And my dirty clothes, too. But other than that, it's all still in there.
I just can't get caught up on the after-vacation unpacking and forget about getting back in the swing of things waking up for work in the wee hours of the morning! That first week back was painful. I felt like a zombie. And it's because my sleep schedule was all out of whack because my body was telling me I was still in vacation mode and my alarm was screaming something totally different.
Which brings me back to the initial equation. One week of vacation really equals three weeks of vacation time. At least!
I'm now in my fourth week and I think I'm finally starting to get my life back in order. I'll admit, I'm not the most organized person to begin with. I like to say my life is usually "organized chaos." It's non-stop and usually all over the place, but I know where everything is (or at least where it should be). It just may not be as orderly as someone else would have it.
And I'm willing to bet most people would agree. A vacation takes up a big chunk of your time. It's a big commitment when you think about it. I was talking to my friend on the phone today and she said the same thing. She's taking a family trip and she said in a huff, "After all this, I don't even want to go on vacation. I just want to crawl in bed and sleep for a week! I'm more stressed now than I ever was before this whole escape was planned."
And this is coming from someone who is way more organized than I am. I mean, wayyyyyyyy more organized. So organized that she packs her and her daughter's suitcases with something called Packing Cubes. For real. Check this out.
And don't be so surprised. Doesn't everyone travel with a pink wig and a pink feather boa at all times? If they don't, they should. I would highly recommend it. It's always better to be over-packed and over-shoe'd than to not have the perfect outfit for that perfect occasion. And as you can see, I like to be prepared. Totally prepared. So prepared that you may even say, I'm pretty much like a boy scout. If boy scouts all dressed in drag.
But seriously, that's a lot of stuff to unpack and I just don't have the energy. My jumbo sized, stuffed to the gills container of all things pink and travelable will just have to wait until it's needed to actually be fully unloaded. Which will then be even more days-worth of my time.
So add it all up. One week of vacation is really about three or more weeks.
The bottom line here is that we all are not getting enough vacation days in order to actually take a vacation. Clearly.