Vacation Time

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I have a complicated relationship with vacation time.   I long for time off to read, putter around the yard,  write, walk on the beach, go explore a different place. In short, to do the things I don’t have time or opportunity  for during the week, or energy to do on the average  weekend.  

On the other hand, I dread the backlog of work that starts piling up when I take some time off.   I get  so exhausted trying to “catch up” that the benefits of vacation have evaporated within a day or two of getting back to work.   In addition, the week before vacation I usually work like a manic to “get everything done” and in the  process  get even more tired and stressed.

Sound familiar?

So how to make the re-entry less stressful?    I am going to  focus on the  immediate–answer retailer and  customer  email and calls, and  handling  that week’s deadlines. I am not going to “catch up” and do more besides. The work of the week will simply be to get back in touch and field any urgent request.

One way I make my job more interesting, but also a lot  more work, is following up on  opportunities. This could be new business relationships, or P.R., or product innovations or ideas.   This is partly for my own stimulation and competitive spirit, but it is also from fear–because of the economy I am afraid to miss something that could make a difference.

Readjusting my perspective, it seems passing over  two or three  weeks out of 50 is not a big impact. The gain in energy and clarity from vacation time offsets any missed opportunities.

Do you struggle with “taking vacation” vs. staying in touch with work constantly? Is “vacation time” truly possible in this economy?

One thought on “Vacation Time

  1. It’s a vicious cycle and I’m right there with you. I do the same things you do: insane manic pre-vacation preparations and the post-vacation catch ups. In addition, being over 50 years old, I forget things. Sure, I write them down or put them into my Outlook calendar, but I still worry. The economy has had a tremendous impact on my company, too and that adds more to the worry & stress even while I’m taking a few much-needed days off.

    Thank goodness I have my journal!!!

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