In less than 24 hours I am going on my annual vacation. Though in no way a traditional vacation, this is the one I enjoy taking, and it always revitalizes me.
As I am beginning to get everything assembled and prepare to pack up my car, it occurs to me that there are a number of signs that I am really really ready and in need of a vacation.
You may or may not have experienced such for yourself. But let’s take a look at some of these, shall we?
1. Your patience is nearly non-existent. I know that I am not always a patient person, but of late my tolerance for even the littlest things is waning. The last week I have been noticeably tense and terse.
2. You are easily flustered. This may or may not combine with my first point, but you find yourself feeling simply flustered. There is uncertainty in everything, you are frequently walking into rooms and unable to recall why you have done so, and you are finding it harder and harder not to snap.
3. You feel short-tempered. Yes, this too can combine with my first points. But it takes very little to set you off, and you are increasingly finding yourself ready to fly off the handle.
4. You have no focus. I just found myself scrolling through Facebook for about 10 minutes, and that not only revealed my lack of focus, but also pointed out to me my short temper, lack of patience, and easy flustering.
5. You start to take things personally. I know that wasn’t an attack, and yet it totally darkened my mood and tapped the other points here. None of this is or was personal, and logically I know it. Yet since I am not feeling fully rational, I am not coping with it.
6. You are hyper-critical. This is both an external and an internal matter. I am critical of myself in numerous ways, and in things outside of myself beyond my control. Like to the smallest detail critical, and irking myself as such.
7. You are becoming frantic. It feels as though everything needs to happen immediately, now, no time to spare. You’ve been aware of this vacation for months, you know what you need to do, but you are still feeling frantic.
Do you have a right to a vacation?
Now I get to address the elephant in the room. Well, in my room, at any rate. What right do I have to take a vacation? Do I deserve a vacation?
This question is borne of guilt. Why do I feel guilty? Because I have not held a true job in a couple of months now. Because I fear that I will be judged for needing to take a vacation since I have not been doing a “real” job.
I know this guilt is ridiculous. I have been working hard this whole time, writing two blogs a day and finishing up and publishing You Are Amazing, as well as putting time into my other writing projects and some additional writing-related work. No, it is not a traditional work situation, but that doesn’t mean I do not need a break.
Maybe I am not spending hours a day in a cubicle with a commute to and from home. But I am not sitting around watching TV nor puttering about doing nothing. I have been writing more frequently and more furiously these past several months than any other time in my life.
Unlike any other job I have done, I love this. Not just a little — I love this with all my heart. This is what I am here to do, words are my career, and I am loving where this is going.
Yet even still, I need a vacation. And I am worthy and deserving of taking one. Do I have the right? Hell yes.
I am not “abandoning my post” on this vacation
As I am still striving to build an audience and make connections with my readers, I am not just taking the time and doing nothing. While I am away I will still be posting blogs daily. One of the best things about this technology is that you can pre-schedule posts, and they will still happen every day, even when you are not doing it live.
This is so very cool. I am not some bot, but I have worked extra hard to get the additional stories ready for posting. This has been the most writing I have ever done. Yes, it can be taxing, and it’s been something of a challenge, but I am still loving everything about this.
I know, to the depth of my being, that I am here to share with you. My writing, my process, my philosophy are all an open book you may find useful to your own experience.
Even though I need to take a break, rest up, rejuvenate my mind body and spirit, I am not doing nothing. I will be taking down new ideas, writing up topics to share when I get back. It is my belief that this will be a chance to come back stronger, and improve upon not only my craft but how I share the insights and ideas I come up with.
Work obsession is unhealthy
One of the reasons I have never fit well into corporate America is because I ask too many questions. Rather than just accept things, I will ask why and what for, even when I probably shouldn’t.
Many years ago, when I worked for the largest company I was ever employed by, the big boss told us that he wanted ideas from us for things that needed to be improved. We were doing tech support, and the software we employed to log calls took a minimum of 2 minutes to log a call. Yes, this was 2002, but even then that was super slow. Ridiculously slow.
I suggested it might be a good idea to upgrade. Further, since I was a lead, I made some suggestions for ways in which my group could do our jobs better.
The truth was that they didn’t want to hear a thing from me. When they began the process of shifting our jobs to another group, I was the first let go. Lesson learned — keep your head down and your mouth shut.
But this is just a part of the way corporate culture can be really messed up. Meet your metrics, do your job above and beyond expectations, and work as hard as you possibly can, right up to the edge of break-down.
Even if I was working a traditional job, the guilt for wanting to take a vacation still exists. But everyone needs a break. Everyone.
Vacationing is healthy
Work-life balance is utterly necessary. In especial if your job is somewhere you would rather not be most of the time. Everyone at every level deserves a vacation.
Also, for the record, everyone deserves reasonable working hours, decent pay, health-care and other benefits, and paid time off as well as family leave. In the age of contract employment to avoid many of these things, is it any wonder there is so much fear and loathing and anger in our society? But I digress.
There shouldn’t be guilt when you need a break. Everyone is worthy and deserving of taking time off in whatever form makes them feel most content and allows them to relax, recuperate, and get rejuvenated.
I might be doing a non-traditional job currently, but that doesn’t lessen the seven signs that I need a vacation. Being mindful of what you are thinking and what and how you are feeling can tell you if you need a break. Don’t let guilt stop you from getting time-off and taking a vacation.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, and you should take a vacation when you need to.