Last Friday, I stopped in at the training center where I used to work. I like to do that every now and again, though I’m sure as time goes by it will occur less and less often.
When I was talking to one of the operators during their lunch break, he asked me if I was enjoying my time off.
I looked at him and, with a straight face, said something like, “Time off from what?”
When he realized where the question was coming from, we both had a chuckle.
Words and phrases sometimes mean different things at different stages of one’s life.
Vacation, to a child, means summer, because, here in the US, most kids are off from school for most of the summer. To an adult, vacation often means trips and travel — getting away from the stress and strain of the job — what Europeans refer to as holiday.
When one is retired, vacation and time off are pretty much meaningless. I’m not employed and I don’t have any plans to be — at least not in the near future — so there’s nothing to take time off from. We are now on our third trip of 2007. We will have been gone from home for a total of nearly three months this year. It’s kind of hard to term any of that a vacation.
Well, technically, I guess the first trip was vacation. I was still employed, using up my 2007 vacation prior to my retirement day. I guess I was taking time off, then, too, though all I had to do was go back to go through the formalities of terminating — by retiring — my employment.