The Monet Vacation

It’s that time of year… summer vacation. “FINALLY!”, the Wisconsin kids are exclaiming, after having to make up a few snow days here in June. Never fun! Rumors abound that vacations will be down this year due to the gas prices. (Debbie Downer Alert!)

P.T. Barnum (yes the guy from that little thing known as the greatest show on earth) proved in his day was that even in a period as tough as the Great Depression, people will spend their last nickel on FUN. Everyone needs a break… an escape… a vacation of sorts. That doesn’t mean you have to fly down to Disney or go surfing in Hawaii. It just means you have to stop what you’re doing and slow down for some fun.

Our good friend and fellow Wisconsonite, Phil Gerbyshak, shared with us a post from Coach Barrow recently talking about “facation time.” You know what he’s referring to, even though the word might be new to you. You go on vacation, but you leave your cell phone on, check back with the office, and stay connected to everything you were trying to escape from… (fake + vacation= facation)

When you make the time to take your break, do just that. Break away from those things in your life that fill your 40+ hours. They will be there when you return- trust me. Jason shared last July about his experience being completely disconnected to everything work-related for a week, while vacationing in Door County with our family. His “tech sabbatical” was not only refreshing, it brought him new perspective. This level of clarity can rarely be found while you are still connected. It’s only when you step back that you can see the whole picture and make adjustments in your thinking and vision… like viewing your favorite Monet painting.

Instead of viewing your life like a mess of paint all of the time, enjoy stepping back for a bit to see the beauty of your unique painting. It makes life so much more fun.

So, what are you planning for your break from the busyness?


  1. I honestly would have had no idea what facation meant unless you explained it. My only comment on that concept is…ick! (That’s a technical term). Sounds like another recipe for terminal professionalism. And I’m allergic to that.

  2. Terminal professionalism! I love it!!

    That’s EXACTLY what’s happening… Jason and I happen to call it Adultitis.

    Glad to hear you’re clueless about facations!!! That says a BUNCH about you…. not a surprise, my friend! ;)

  3. I’m still working hard to take a REAL vacation, and I hope this summer gives me some time to do so. I’m headed to Lake Orion MI next month and plan to enjoy at least a few days of rest and relaxation after a fun speaking engagement. Water soothes me and does my heart and head some good.

  4. My sister pointed me to your post. She & both have an occasional need for a facation of a different sort — going someplace nearby where there are tourists so we can pretend we’re on vacation! (We live halfway between Gettysburg and Amish Country, so it’s not hard.)

    Avoiding facations of your sort is getting more difficult, however. After our last vacation, my husband wondered why he bothered because so much work had piled up while we were away that he was more stressed than ever. I think something needs to change in our work culture so that we don’t feel we HAVE to stay connected while we take breaks.

  5. Minette says:

    I’m over in Europe right now on a pilgrimage with Deaf people. I have my computer with me so I can let my family know where I am, etc., but I have vowed to NOT check work email! So far, so good! It’s been a great trip so far. Tomorrow we head to Padua (home of St. Anthony).

  6. cheri says:

    My husband & I just started new jobs as we recently moved; thereby NO VACATION TIME. However that is according to our bosses, but as otherwise written here on this website. They are NOT REALLY THE BOSS OF US!!! We many times declare a night or a weekend PLAY TIME!! And BOY do we PLAY!!!!!!
    Life is what you make it, the world will inhale it vigoriously out of you if you let it.
    SO, do something unexpected. Dress up like a combat warrior and hide and pounce on your husband/wife or chldren.. they will love it! Make it music night, collect worms out of the ground,etc.. ENJOY – LAUGH – MAKE MEMORIES>>>>

  7. Patty Borkowski says:

    It is very easy for my family and I to take facations – we can do it getting lost! Living in Milwaukee, we are not far from barns and cows and farms, and a wrong turn or two (okay, or three) can take you to a totally new place. When it happens and we have time, we pretend we are from far away, and do touristy things and ask touristy questions. Too fun!!

  8. Shannon,
    What a great idea, to be a tourist in your own stomping grounds! Sounds like you and your sister know how to have fun!

    I totally agree with your assessment on the status of our work culture. It IS difficult to feel like you can take a true break, without staying connected. I guess we just have to keep bringing it up… with stress levels at an all time high, it’s as important as ever. Good luck!!!

    Phil, savor your time by the water!!!

    Minette, enjoy your trip!! Good for you for leaving work in IL.

    It all comes down to your attitude and perspective and your ideas certainly prove that! What great ideas!

    Keep enjoying your time with your family!!! It’s fun to get lost together.

  9. I’ve been to the pond in that painting. Cool! I didn’t take my cell phone on that trip…mainly because I didn’t have one yet. :-) Great ideas!

  10. Jenny says:

    We love to camp. A few years ago we bought a camper. My back is not as young as my heart and tent camping just didn’t do it anymore for me. Having a camper is so cool! Whenever we need to get away and obligations or weather or whatever won’t let us, we camp in our own yard. When you pull the curtains on the windows, you can be anywhere you want to be. We always pretend we are somewhere else for an evening. We spend the night in the camper and go back to reality in the morning. No phones, computers, tv or problems allowed!


  1. [...] Kim and Jason’s Escape Adulthood blog recently commented on our apparent need for entertainment, saying that “even in a period as tough as the Great Depression, people will spend their last nickel on FUN.” They cite P.T. Barnum getting people to pay for circus admission; other sources have used the cinema as an example. (Movie houses weren’t empty in the 1930s; on the contrary, they became more popular.) [...]