Vacation Kyle & Retired Bill

(90 sec read)

My friend Kyle takes on a whole new persona when he goes on vacation. His wife has a nickname for it. She calls him “Vacation Kyle”. He’s carefree, takes risks, splurges, does things for the good of the group no matter what. He dances. He plays. He doesn’t mind being late.

My professor retired recently and, upon parting from our cup of tea on Tuesday he, said, “Cliff, life is good. Every night is Friday night and every day is Saturday.”

As much as I love my Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, I couldn’t help but be jealous.

Is there a way to always be Vacation Kyle or Retired Bill, even when we’re not on vacation and not retired? Can we get our minds in that place while we’re at work? While we’re changing diapers or changing the oil in our car?

The ultimate mind over matter – corporate monks, blue collar swamis, enlightened entrepreneurs skating through our weeks with the ease of water droplets rolling off the flat expanse of a leaf.

Or maybe that’s the wrong thing to strive for…

Perhaps I’m thinking too small. Perhaps the only reason Vacation Kyle and Retired Bill are in a constant state of bliss is because of the immense work they do when they’re not Vacation Kyle and not Retired Bill. When they’re just Kyle and Bill.

After all, you can’t have vacation nor retirement, without work. There is no relief without the weight of the stone.

So where’s that leave us? With the necessity of hard work and the promise of a well-earned break. But we tend to value only one, even though both are part of the same equation, essential partners in the production.

It sounds weird but maybe next time we’re toasting over pool drinks or tea, we should toast to the hardness of it all: the grit, the stress, the walls, the weight… the uglier, unsung heroes hiding out backstage with bad posture and bulging muscles, sore from holding up their end of the deal.

They deserve some thanks, they should be remembered.

And, when they take center stage, they should be embraced.