As I saw a particular group of those youngins on my T ride into work this morning, I began fantasizing what it would be like to have the week off work. Visions of playing in the snow, going to museums and not riding the MBTA sprang to mind, and I wondered, why don’t we all have February vacation?
Change is important. When we were growing up, we got summers off from school. Summer vacation was change. It was something to look forward to. A few months of something different really meant a lot.
We grow out of a lot as we grow up. One of the most unfortunate things we leave behind is a regular dose of change. Nowhere is this more evident than at work.
Work in February is the same as work in May. June’s the same as October. And it would be hard to tell August from April.
Now, New England is a fantastic place in the summer, and companies here in the Bay State are well aware of that fact. From Memorial Day until Labor Day, many employees are granted early release on Fridays or given extra vacation days redeemable only during the summer months. We take half days to lounge on the beach and long weekends to hike up north. In June, July and August, work can often come second to exploring and relaxing.
But from January to May, there is little reprieve from our cubes and our keyboards. We may take a Friday off here or there to dig out from blizzards or visit our families, but rarely do you find fellow co-workers leaving early to just go home and relax.
Everyone in Boston loves to complain about the miserable winter weather. It’s always too cold or icy or snowy. I think what we’re actually saying under all those complaints, though, is that we don’t have time to enjoy this season. I would love the snow a lot more if I was lounging with my feet up in a cabin in the woods somewhere in Maine, and the cold wouldn’t be half as bad if I was bundled up in my thickest ski gear cruising down those green trails.
OK, so I don’t really know how to ski. But imagine if I had a week off to learn.
February vacation would be a beautiful thing — just five simple days off at the end of February to enjoy all New England has to offer, even when it’s covered in white blankets of snow.
No, February vacation wouldn’t solve all of our problems. There would still be expense reports to file and emails to send and deadlines to meet when we got back from our week of being snow bunnies. And yes, some of that work would have to be done while on vacation.
Yet, in the dreaded five month stretch between New Year’s Day and Memorial Day, a week off would be something to look forward to, something to work toward, something to smile about.
Maybe then we would all stop being so cranky to each other on the T.