I recently read a study that Americans have half as much time off as most other developed countries. In Australia they get a month; Brazil the same. France enjoys 5 weeks, while Sweden, Finland and Norway clock in a blissful 25 days off annually. Of course, those figures don’t even include paid holidays! To add insult to injury, the little time off we do get, we foolishly don’t even use! We worry about being perceived as lazy or falling behind. But, seeing as I’m typing this at work and you’re probably reading it at work, it’s clear that I’m preaching to the choir. So, today I thought I’d try another tactic and post a pic that my former college roommate and one of my best friends, Katrina Barton, took while on an impromptu holiday in Tulum, Mexico last year for my birthday.  Let it serve as a reminder of just how good time off can be. First there’s the ‘looking-forward-to-it’ phase that includes picking out new sunnies, beach cover-ups and getting manicures, blowouts and spray tans. Then, there’s the journey phase, where you float onto a plane filled with anticipation for what is to come instead of the usual ‘get-the-hell-out-of-my-way-I’ve-got-a-meeting’ energy. Then there’s the actual ‘this-is-happening’ phase that involves pool chairs, cabana boys, day drinking, raft floating, oodles of calories and a whole lotta nothing. In other words, perfection. I mean, just look at this picture. It has all the essentials. Sand. Surf. Booze. You can’t see our faces but you know we’re smiling. And, not just the usual take the picture smiles. No… they are actual, real, not forced, life is good smiles. So, I say raise that figurative glass and toast to your own vacation days and then, since you’re the hardworking American I know you are, close your office door and scour Expedia for cheap airfares before you talk yourself out of it.

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