Vacation, All I Ever Wanted: Happy Early Thanksgiving from The Light Files!


My goodness, I used to be so good at taking a vacation. Give me a week, several fabulous menus and a few sidewalks with lovely things to look at and I was golden. The only difference between "then" and now, I suppose, is that I rarely get a vacation (miss you, college...), suffice it to say I have spent the last year terrified that if I actually got one again, I would have no bloody clue what to do with it.

Rest assured, everyone: it appears I haven't lost my vacation mojo. Not yet at least. I'm leaving tomorrow for a nearly week-long trip to Arizona with my boyfriend and his family, and I have to come out and admit I've been biting my nails for weeks over my fear of discovering I've lost my inherent ability to actually do this weird thing I swear they were trying to teach me in Kindergarten when we had mandatory nap time. What is it again? Oh, right...


I often complain (okay, maybe "kick and scream" would be more appropriate here) about the treachery of the American (no such) work/life balance. The idea of having any "balance" at all in this land that extends from sea to shining sea usually means about 10 days of PTO a year, so long as you don't get sick for a week during that year. In that case, you can call it off entirely. Being someone who got my first job in London, where I got 10 days of PTO as a minimum wage intern with only a six-month contracted stint at my job, it's been a challenging adjustment to learn to be so darn well-adjusted to a system that doesn't cater to those of us who are fabulous at the art of doing absolutely nothing.

While "art" is something that comes somewhat naturally to those who inherent understand it, I admit I've found myself rather fearful that I'd utterly lost my skill over the past year. Having hardly so much as yawned between meetings I've feared that the sense of unending bliss I once experienced from a day to myself was now some kind of distant memory, a phenomenon I could be grateful for having once experienced but that would no longer be within my reach.

Panic be gone, of course it's only been a matter of hours since I've left the office for my official Thanksgiving vacation, and I can assure you all that I have NOT lost my skill. No, not even a bit.

I haven't packed yet (a true sign I am officially letting go of my planners-mind), and I've already caught up with friends over those extensive phone conversations that seem nowadays to be some foreign institution of the 90s. I also had a marshmallow for dinner. A large marshmallow, albeit, but a marshmallow nonetheless.

There IS hope for those of us who rarely see a vacation day unless it's a national holiday (I am one of you.) I'm already having a blast. From my little could of PTO bliss to yours, may each and every one of you have a fabulous Thanksgiving. And if you don't eat those Marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes this year, please save some for me...they're clearly my favorite.


Laura Max.