What NOT To Do When You’re On Vacation

Okay, so most people have lists of things that they’re going to do while they’re on vacation from school (or work, or anything tedious). For example: take a trip, hang out with friends and family, have movie and television show marathons. These are all good things, and if anybody reading this blog post happens to have made a list like that and stuck to it, I heartily commend you.

What does my list look like for my winter break from college, you may ask? Um, well, it doesn’t really look like the one I just congratulated some random person for making. And my break is half over now, so it might be a little late to do anything truly stupendous, like go to Disneyland or visit faraway relatives. So, instead of giving you a list of what to do on your vacation, I’m going to give you a list of What NOT To Do, because I relate to that so much better.

1. Do NOT stare at the computer, television, tablet, or a picture of your favorite The Hobbit character all day. You don’t have to be a health specialist to acknowledge the fact that staying motionless with your eyes fixed on a screen or someone’s handsome face all day is decidedly NOT GOOD FOR YOU. It’s not good for your eyes, or your weight, or your self-esteem, or anything. The act of staring is sometimes necessary, and can be a good thing IN MODERATION. Try to limit yourself to a few hours for this activity (unless you’re staring at the sun), and use the rest of your free time to walk around, take deep breaths, maybe talk to some of those people you’ve been neglecting during your time as a screen hog.

2. Do NOT let people know that you are bored. If people think you’re bored, then they think they have to help relieve this malady. Quick, make like you’re having the time of your life doing whatever it is you’re doing! Otherwise, you might get stuck cleaning the bathroom, or making your bed, or doing the dishes…. And who wants to do THOSE things on vacation? In short: don’t just sit around, DO STUFF. You will save yourself from having to do unpleasant activities when you don’t want to do them. Note I said, WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO. But, we all know that we sometimes have to do things that we don’t want to do, because they NEED to be done. Say, for instance, your kitchen counter is overflowing with dirty dishes, or a strange and unearthly odor is emanating from your toilet in the form of greenish fumes…it may be time to make with the elbow grease.

And finally, 3. If you are in school, do NOT leave all of your school preparations for the last minute. The sooner you can order textbooks, purchase pencils and paper and other supplies, and figure out where all your classes are, and where your campus even IS (don’t judge me, my college is spread out between three different towns), the better. Yes, this probably seems like a boring addition to the list, but it is well worth paying attention to. More early prep=less stress.

Now, let’s be clear on this. This list that I have compiled is largely due, not to my success in keeping to it, but in NOT keeping to it. Take item 1: I get on the computer, like, six or seven times a day. And I have some computer wallpaper from The Hobbit on my desktop, one particular picture of which I have been known to stare at until the slide show moves on to the next picture in line. Sigh, yes, yes, I am an odd egg. For item 2: that’s mainly just common sense, for anybody who has lived with a mother. And for item 3: so far, I haven’t been last-minute-Charlie for the spring semester, but I’ve still got a few weeks of vacation left in which to procrastinate. In other words, please pray for me. : o

Therefore, in light of MY lack of adherence to What NOT To Do, I leave you with this sappy, but true call-to-action: whatever you do on your vacation, whether it’s a break from school (like me), or work, or your weird family, DON’T sit around and do nothing all the time. If you find some worthwhile things to do, I think you’ll also find that your vacation was not just time well earned, but time well spent as well.

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