My hockey buddies think it’s funny when I say I’m going on vacation for two weeks. Their retort, as you might expect, is that I’ve been on permanent vacation since I retired. In many ways, they’re right. My days consist mostly of stuff I want to do mixed in with a few chores for the house, cars, and so on. Nevertheless, I look forward to our annual vacation in Maine.

A close friend of mine loves the work that he does and can’t think of a good reason to retire. If he retires, he says, he would still be writing code because he loves that. It’s just that he’d be doing his own project for his own interests and, of course, he wouldn’t be paid for it. Why not, he asks, do what I love and get paid handsomely for it. So day in and day out, he spends most of his time doing what he loves. And yet, he really looks forward to his vacations.

Being retired is like that. You’re doing what you love, for the most part, with the usual chores and projects that everyone does. A vacation, though, represents a change and a being in a place where you have no household chores or the usual responsibilities. It’s a time to just kick back, flop on a beach, be a tourist, and generally do things you don’t usually do at home. This change is an important one for our minds. Being retired doesn’t really change that.

Another close friend, who has been retired for many years now, understands. The three of us were out for our weekly Wings social event and talked about vacations while retired. Our working friend teased the two of relentlessly but we stuck to our guns–being retired doesn’t change the need for a vacation to get away from it all. Even if “it all” is the daily fun stuff of being retired.