Last updated: August 24. 2013 11:18PM - 57 Views

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My family and I returned from a wonderful vacation to Florida on Saturday. The children loved our few days at Disney, and my wife and I loved our few days relaxing at a beach.What I did on my summer vacation certainly isnít the most newsworthy column topic. Itís barely worthy of an essay at the start of the school year. But my initial reaction when I thought about this trip south surprised me.I thought my vacation should be off limits to column fodder, given recent economic struggles. Itís no secret times have been tough for many people. Layoffs, pay cuts, foreclosures and tough day-to-day financial decisions hit us all. Confessing we frivolously spent money on a self-absorbed vacation felt like bragging.The economists have said the Great Recession has been over for a while, though. Now weíre suffering from the Great Hangover. Financially we might be OK, but emotionally we still feel the effects of the last few years. Among them is a shame if weíre doing a little better than some of the people around us.In my familyís case, we had to make some tough decisions we didnít necessarily enjoy over the past few years, just as you have. We cut our budgets to the bone to focus on bills. We went to a water park near Newark last summer, but somehow that doesnít feel the same as a real vacation.Vacations are part of what makes us Americans. We work hard. We love our families. We innovate. And we take fun family vacations. One of our inalienable rights is the pursuit of happiness.Iím giving you permission to enjoy your vacation again.Our pursuit of happiness took us to the Sunshine State. We decided the Trinkos earned some time away from home and had just enough money to make it happen this summer.Back before the recession hit, we also shared our summertime successes. Itís time to do that again.Tell that cute story about your youngest child gushing about meeting Minnie Mouse. Marvel over the 3-year-old explaining how theyíre just people in costumes. Revel in how appreciative your eldest daughter was that she could swim every day. Enjoy that tight family bond created by spending every moment for a week together.Youíve worked too hard to not thoroughly enjoy every aspect of your vacation, even the bragging.You can comment on this column at LimaOhio.com.

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