One of the websites I visit regularly is Separated by a Common Language, where an American expat in the UK, Lynneguist, talks about British and American English. I’m quite fond of Briticisms generally. But one I’ve never embraced is the notion of “holiday” for vacation. Holiday (or bank holiday in other countries) to me refers to an event such as Labor Day or Christmas. Of course, one of Lynneguest’s readers finds “vacation” strange, “mainly because the word ‘vacate’ is normally only encountered in toilet cubicles and changing rooms.” Whereas for me, the root to vacate means, in the words of some rock band, “Turn off your mind and float downstream.”
The sermon at church last Sunday was about fast food and cell phones and Twitter, and how people seem to need to be connected all the time, including at the time they are supposed to be on holiday or vacation. Most of them are NOT heart surgeons awaiting a call to show up at the hospital to perform a transplant or some other life-or-death profession.
I know that when I’m away for several days, not having Internet connection makes me cranky after a couple days. Partly it’s because I’ll drown in e-mails if I don’t tend to them regularly. There are STILL e-mails I know I need to respond to from weeks ago that have been sucked into my LIFO (last in, first out) process. But except for calling the daughter, my last vacation with my wife was quite enjoyed, even though I only had about 15 minutes a day of Internet connectivity; it wasn’t a policy decision – the service kept cutting in and out.
So can you vacation/holiday? Do you recreate, or more specifically, re-create yourself? Or do you just keep working and connecting in different venues?