“May in France is known as the Swiss cheese month because of all the holiday holes in it. There are four national holidays and thus four long weekends. May 1 was the May Day workers’ fete, May 8 marked the World War II victory in Europe, and there are two others I’ll get to in a moment,” writes NPR reporter Elanor Beardsley.
Instead of enjoying the long weekends, I find myself struggling to cope. I imagine working parents in Boston felt this way about snow days this past winter. Paris doesn’t get buried in snow. But the holidays — and the school days off — are relentless.
When I moved to France a decade ago, the culture of guilt-free time off seemed so refreshing compared with America’s workaholic attitude. Taking three to four weeks off in the summer is not only the norm, it’s viewed as necessary to recharge one’s batteries for the fall.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no workaholic. I always enjoy every bit of my vacation time. But after a couple of years in France, I began to realize that there actually is such a thing as “too much vacation.” Especially when you have kids.
Today’s Question: How much vacation is too much?