A No-Vacation Summer
Summer is in full swing as we head into July. The kids are out of school, the sun is out (even in the drippy Pacific Northwest that I call home) and everyone has earmarked their week/s of vacation in the coming month or two. Working full-time in any job, really, warrants at least a week of mental and physical relaxation outside the "office." In the skilled nursing setting -- between efficiency scrutiny and challenging patient caseloads, those vacation days can be a lifeline or at least an oasis to recharge my energy and outlook.
This year, however, I've accrued no vacation days due to starting a new job a few months ago and having to wait a year before I can take a "paid" vacation day per contract outlines. Although I do get paid holidays, those days are considered typical working days if they fall on Monday through Friday. This means, other than taking a sick day when I am or (more often than not) my kids are ill, I won't see a paid vacation day until the summer of 2015. Let me just emphasize that taking a few days off to nurse a sick child is no vacation, by any stretch of the imagination.
Do I appreciate that my employer offers paid vacation? Absolutely! In fact, post-one year of employment, I'll receive 15 days to enjoy throughout that following year. In the interim, I'm monopolizing my weekend days with mini road trips and "stay-cations," kids in tow. A few extra days tacked onto these weekends would be ideal, but for now I'm finding the peace and reenergizing rest I need close to home. As well, this is giving me the time and motivation to schedule the next big family trip. When summer rolls round next year, this PTA will be relaxing far from home or facility pressures, preferably on an uneventful beach that only follows island time.