It is summer holiday time! Are you already thinking about sitting in your car on your way to your summer holiday rest and somehow cannot wait to get stuck in traffic on the very first day of your vacation with millions of other vacationers? Do you start your days with an anxious glance at the 14 days weather forecast at your destination of choice? Did you check your lilo, swimming ring, fins and snorkel for defects, try to repair them and then decide to buy new ones, just in case? Did you whip the car into shape? Did you leave the keys and the cat with the neighbors?
If that is the case, it’s a sure sign that it actually is summer holiday time. At the office these days everybody seems to be talking about sunshine, the sea, and beaches. I cannot talk to anyone without them bringing up the topic. Actually, I’m happy that I don’t have to travel during summer vacation time since I try to avoid beaches that are so packed that my towel touches that of my neighbor. I prefer lonely beaches. And I prefer solitude. I avoid crowds. I’m happy that I can take my holidays whenever I want. But still: The holiday mood of these days is infectious. And once the colleagues that are still working these days serially take their leave in the next couple of days, once the office is getting quiet and mails and appointments rare, I know that I will be seized by a little monster called holiday envy.
My summer holidays usually look like this: While my Facebook timeline is showing nothing but selfies with sunnies, pictures of ice cream, sea-gulls, little kids playing in the water, grown-ups drinking cocktails in pools, and of sunrises and sunsets, and while I might at least be receiving an occasional holiday greeting via postcard or text message I can only hope to catch a little tan in front of my computer screen at least. Naturally, I do hope for the sun to shine on weekends once in a while, and not on weekdays only. And if it really has to rain this summer, I’d of course be glad if it only rained between 9 am and 5 pm (well, spare lunch break). This would greatly improve my willingness to work.
My summer holidays aren’t as bad as they sound. Really. After all, the hubbub will be over in a matter of weeks. In a matter of weeks, my colleagues will return to work and complain about standing in line for overpriced ice cream, noisy hotel neighbors, sand and fleas in their beds, about other tourists reserving their deck chairs with towels in the early morning, and about the fact that they didn’t manage to shoot one single photo without others running into the picture.
Once the universal holiday euphoria gives way to a daily grind hangover, one thing is for sure: I am still looking forward to my own holiday. Check! Because I am not going before November. When days get grey and cheerless, I will be lying in the sun. I do have to travel a bit farther but this is a burden I am happy to shoulder. When I return home, I have spent the most awkward month of the year without a nascent winter depression. And while everybody else has already gone back to white, I can brag about my tan. Since Christmas will be very close then, the rest of the year will pass faster than anything.
Christmas… Once the summer holidays are over, stollen and Christmas cookies will once again be on display on supermarket shelves and remind me that from now on it won’t be long until I’ll finally be on vacation myself. Enjoy your summer holidays! Meanwhile, I’ll hold the fort.
Photo by Annie Shelmerdine.