Meaningful Mondays #1: Taking Time Off This Summer

I have heard several news stories and read several articles over the years about how we (Americans) do not really take our vacation time AND how our jobs offer us less vacation time than many other countries.  We work ourselves into unhealthy habits and lifestyles and sometimes, unfortunately, into an early grave.  Here’s a nice by the numbers example of the stats on Americans and vacations:

I’m fortunate, that while I don’t make the BIG bucks, I have lots of time off and flexibility.  Summer is the perfect time to have a vacation (or stay-cation as people have been often saying).  Without much money to spend I decided, spontaneously, which is how I like to make my decisions, that I’m taking my son out of daycare every Friday this summer and we’re going to do something that resembles a “vacation.”  Merriam Webster, doesn’t say a vacation must be expensive or that it has to be taken far from home,

ImageHere are my Top 10 plans for Fridays (and other days with my son & hubby & friends):

  1. Sleep in, if the toddler will let me. Followed by a breakfast. Neither are things we get to do often, if at all during the school year.
  2. Eat LOTS of ice cream with a walk by the Merrimack River: especially the area around Lowell and the Pavilion and Heritage Ice Cream (have I mentioned that since our son was born I’ve spent more time outside than in the last 10 years…no kidding…it’s a milestone!): (a)
  3. Visit 2 kid-friendly farms right in our backyard: (a) Great Brooks Farm: and (b) Kimball Farm:
  4. Time in the kiddie pool in my own backyard and hit the “Spray Park” at Shedd Park and Dracut.
    1. Check out the free “Spray Parks” in your city or town under the Parks & Recreation Department
  5. Time with friends at their houses, sharing a meal, laughs, and stories.
  6. Train ride to visit friends in nearby New England and Northeast cities & states: Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and New York:
  7. Take in the Festivals we always miss when we’re traveling: Lowell Folk Festival, Arts Boston, WGBH Fun Fest
  8. Boston Public Garden and our son’s 1st visit to the ducks, a friend just bought him Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  9. Read a new book each week and/or make our own book about our adventures!
  10. My sister is coming to visit! AND we hope to invite other friends up to spend time with us in New England.

Other ideas for the folks living in the greater-Boston area:

  1. 50 Free Things to do in Boston with kids this summer:
  2. From

As a professor, I do not have vacation days. So I’m taking advantage of being done teaching for the academic year + 1 summer class and I’m creating a vacation! What are your plans for the summer?



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