Curated Leadership for Today's World

I’m On a Permanent Vacation!

Posted on 17 June 2010

I grew up with a father who rarely took a “traditional” vacation. He had such a burning desire to do what he was doing that to stop doing it for even a day would have killed him! Our summer “vacations” consisted of being packed up in varying sizes of RVs full of luggage, numerous siblings, two adults, and many cases of books, to crisscross the country enroute to his next meeting. We’d pull into the next destination where he'd speak and we’d go splash around the campground pool. We once drove from Mechanicsburg, PA to Mexico City and back in a VW pop-up camper without air conditioning and lived to tell about it!

As a college student, I can recall friends informing me that my father was on campus speaking to a particular group. It’d be the first I’d hear about it but he would always meet up with me and we’d catch up over dinner. It was how he did business and was perfectly acceptable since he loved to work as much as he loved my mother and his children. So I learned the fine art of blending work and play very early on. I’m all for getting away. I love to travel and have lived all over the world. But I, like my father, traveled primarily for work, and seeing all the amazing things surrounding me was a byproduct of amazing work opportunities. When people ask me what I do for fun I quote Noel Coward: “Work is more fun than fun.”  

Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Even Club Med’s slogan agrees, “Vacation is a world where there are no locks on the doors or the mind or the body.” So that’s why my dad considered every day of work to be a vacation. Some of you may be thinking to yourself, “but you don’t know the job or line of work I’m in or the people I have to deal with!” Ah contraire, I’ve had bosses who threatened me, employees who slandered me, and customers who stiffed me at various stages throughout my career. But I always got great satisfaction from working. Even if I knew the results wouldn’t be appreciated, or even the credit given where due, I still did it. After all, circumstances are what they are; I was in charge of how I’d respond. As my dad used to say to me when I’d long for that better job, boss, title, or employees, “If you can’t be happy where you are, it’s a cinch you can’t be happy where you ain’t.”

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2 comments

  • mike: February 20, 2016

    Good advice Tracey. Miss your dad.

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    Me too Mike, me too. Thanks for the read.

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