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Featured Category, Mair Hill Blog

Out of the Office*

Vacation. That’s where I am. On vacation. In the Northwoods. Thirteen dirt miles away from the nearest town on an island in the middle of Lake Michigan. My father-in-law has been coming to Beaver Island for one hundred years. Literally. He’s 102 and his first stay here was when he was two years old. No electricity. No running water. No telephone.
A lot has changed since then.

I, on the other hand, arrived, for the the first time back in high school. Still a long time ago, but we had running water and electricity. The phone, however, was a party line. When I picked it up to make a call, I never knew if I would have to wait my turn. The house has since been renovated and modernized. It’s like an oasis in the middle of the woods. I can jump off the deck and land on the beach.

Still no cell service, but we do have WiFi (hence, my ability to post this week’s blog. Even though it’s technically late, there is no such thing as LATE on Beaver Island.)

Probably the biggest difference for this vacation is how long ago we planned it. Most years we talk about it and have a general idea about when we’d like to go, but the actual date still remains fairly fluid until a couple weeks before we actually leave (since we take a short, twenty minute flight on a 9 passenger Britten Norman Islander, we need to make advance reservations). But my oldest is now in the working world and he needed the exact dates at the beginning of the year so he could carefully allot his precious vacation days.

Turns out planning a vacation boosts happiness even more than the vacation itself. Researchers in the Netherlands studied 1530 Dutch adults and found “the effect of vacation anticipation boosted vacation happiness for eight weeks.” Eight weeks! As wonderful as it is to actually BE here, just knowing we would be here has made me smile for months.

It’s generally recognized that taking a vacation boasts benefits from productivity at work to a healthier heart to better mental clarity. Now add the eight weeks of increased happiness and you have every reason to (first finish reading this blog and) plan your next vacation. Even it’s a one-day staycation in your backyard, just knowing it’s on the calendar will bring you weeks of happiness.

See that adirondack on the beach, it’s waiting for me…

What are you planning next?  I’d love to know below.

*My original title was “Gone Fishing” thinking that was a colloquialism for being on vacation – it’s almost cliche in the movies: Floyd, the man who owns the only gas station in town would hang a sign on his door that says “Gone Fishing.”  In other words, on vacation. Not available. Apparently “gone fishing” also refers to adultering. Keep that in mind the next time you’re tempted to hang that sign on your door. (I’m sure Floyd would have been mortified!)

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