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(c) 2014 Sherman Lambert

(c) 2014 Sherman Lambert

My husband Sherman has reached the point at his employer where he needs to use up a certain amount of personal time (vacation and/or health-related) in order not to lose them at the end of the year. Most years he has trouble doing so. He was raised in an entrepreneurial family where days off were days when you didn’t earn money. His family still seems to regard time off with a bit of suspicion.

Be that as it may, he has chosen to work outside the family which means that while he doesn’t get to make all the decisions in his daily work, he does have certain set benefits. Still, taking rest doesn’t come easily to him. Although I’ve suggested he could take off some days to do relaxing things such sleep in, read, and ride his bicycle, he seems to feel better about using vacation days when he has a specific place to visit or activity to do.

He’ll take days for traveling vacations, visiting family, camping, helping his relatives, and skiing, but beyond that he doesn’t have much imagination for how to use them. In fact, when he and I have gone to “time share” presentations in Mexico (trust me, you don’t have to want to buy a time share to get roped into those—in fact, saying “no” a thousand times over is very much work), eventually the salespeople start insulting his inability to relax. Not only is this guy not going to buy a time share, but he also doesn’t even understand why people travel, seems to be the gist of their harangues toward him. Pretty soon, they’ll throw us in a van and take us back to our car in disgust.

Well, we didn’t want their time share anyway—but they are wrong that he can’t have fun—unless they are talking about the type of fun that requires traveling to expensive far-flung locales—which, of course, is their type of fun—you know, the kind of fun that pays their commissions.

Last Friday, with the snow uneven and crusty, Sherman conceded he’d rather do something other than ski for his planned day off, even though it was killing him to see such a quantity of snow on the mountains this late in April.

(c) 2013 Trina Lambert

(c) 2013 Trina Lambert

So we took our daughter Christiana on what we considered as goofing around for all of us, but also as a business trip for her—the three of us visited the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, about an hour to the south of Denver. You see, this particular zoo is the zoo with the largest (18!) giraffe herd. And, well, our daughter is a giraffe artist these days. This was a research trip for her, even if it was just rest for her father and me.
(c) 2013 Christiana Lambert

(c) 2013 Christiana Lambert

She loved the giraffes, and not just for art’s sake and all the photos she took that will work into her projects. I haven’t seen her light up like that in a long time. This was just the kind of stress relief she needed after a long, hard semester that included major surgery and recovery in the middle of it. Plus, talk about giving her father joy on one of his own breaks from work.

Sometimes when our kids grow up, we forget to play together.

(c) 2013 Christiana Lambert

(c) 2013 Christiana Lambert


Sure, our family still skis in a group, but going on this sort of outing doesn’t require the same sort of planning, expenditures, and physical effort. This was just simple fun together and a great way for Sherman and Christiana to take a break from his work and her school assignments. And yet, it was so enjoyable to visit a zoo without having to pull our “child” in a wagon—which is an especially good thing since the zoo’s name does not lie. Just because we took a break from daily life, however, didn’t mean we weren’t exhausted from that break. Ah, maybe that’s the real reason why Sherman doesn’t yield too often to taking time off.

Then again, there’s nothing like smiling a lot to get you ready to get back at it—and that’s another kind of yield altogether.

Christiana, 1994, wearing giraffe buttons and a big smile.

Christiana, 1994, wearing giraffe buttons and a big smile.

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And, thus, I’m mostly leaving you with pictures. Well, other than of relaxing activities such as my delicious nap today and my soak in the tub—I will spare you those images. Thank goodness for small favors, right?

Christiana petting giraffes on our trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Christiana petting giraffes on our trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Running.

Running.

Road trips.

Road trips.

Reading.

Reading.

Singing in church.  (c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

Singing in church.
(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

Walking dogs.

Walking dogs.

Now, off to grab 40 winks–or more.

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