I did not use all of my vacation days last year.

I regret this.

I should have tried harder to take advantage of my vacation days. It is nobody’s fault but my own that I did not take more time off work. Taking time off work allows one to refresh and come back more motivated. This year I am going to try to use all of my vacation days.

But taking vacation time requires working ahead so I won’t fall behind in my job. What good is taking vacation if I am worried about my job the whole time I am off?

I used to have a picture with a bunch of wise sayings. One of them said, “No one on their deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.’”

I believe that is true.

The coronavirus is one reason that I did not take all my vacation days last year. Due to the coronavirus my family was reluctant to make trips out of town and stay in hotels. But I still could have taken time off work and just stayed around the house. Sitting around the house may not be the most exciting vacation but it is still a break from work. I look forward to the day when my family and I can take a weekend trip to Nashville, Memphis or to see family in Georgia.

I have saved a lot of money by not travelling much this past year. With expenses such as gas, lodging and eating out, travelling is expensive. But I believe taking family vacations is a worthwhile expense because of all the memories that are made.

My family was supposed to rent a cabin on a lake over Thanksgiving, but that trip had to be cancelled because there was a surge in coronavirus cases at the time.  We had been talking about the trip for months, and it had to be cancelled about a week before. While this was disappointing, it was still the wise decision. Maybe by Thanksgiving 2021 families will be able to safely gather again.

In the meantime, people have to continue looking for ways to entertain themselves around the house. This could include watching TV, reading books or just spending time with family members. My daughter likes it when I am home from work so I can play Barbies with her. My daughter always wants to a play a game whether it is hide-and-go-seek or boardgames.

She received a lot of boardgames for Christmas, including Monopoly Jr., which she has already beat me at once. She also likes to play Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. The first time she played a boardgame, she got upset and cried when she lost. But since then my wife and I have taught her to be a better sport and congratulate the winner. Losing at a game can be difficult. In my life I have played many sports and know from firsthand experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

I hope this year I can be victorious when it comes to using all of my vacation days. In the news business it can be hard to get away from work, including the constant deadlines. But there is no excuse for letting vacation days go to waste.

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