Friday Rant: When Staying Home for Vacation Is Not Money Well Saved

I've been on vacation this week. Well, sort of. As I have often mentioned in these virtual pages, I'm a do-it-yourselfer and our house is in need of maintenance and painting -- the last thing I feel like doing after a typical 60+ hour work week. So we decided to stay home, save cash by not traveling, and save even more by doing work around the house ourselves. Wise, sensible and responsible? Maybe on one level, but it hasn't been the break I sorely needed.

Vacationing is not about saving money and believing that the value added in accomplishing DIY home maintenance will somehow make one refreshed and ready to face the coming work-a-day regimen with renewed vigor. To wit -- because this was vacation after all -- we slept a bit later, went out for breakfast, and even dinner on two evenings, that turned out be disabling in terms working a full day of maintenance. And being somewhat out of construction shape from my regular regimen of pumping the keyboard and lifting the telephone, I'm also sore as heck.

Next year I'm budgeting for a reputable local contractor, turning over the keys and heading out. I'm sure it won't be perfect but it's bound to be more rejuvenating than this week's failed experiment. Mind you, I'm not complaining. I'm part owner of a bequeathed seaside summer home built by my great grandfather, and having a place at the seashore to get away to on weekends isn't shabby -- even if it is a shared environment with rather high property taxes, constant upkeep and, as a non-resident, no say in local government spend and services.

Oops, I am complaining. This reminds me of a funny old blues tune with the refrain: "I got so mad I threw my drink across the lawn." Maybe I can blame that on not having had a real vacation.

- William Busch

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