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Vacation Time Is Not for the Weak at Heart

I had some vacation time rolled over from the prior year and I should be excited, but the idea of blocking off my calendar for a week is bothering me. Telling my clients that I won’t be available to meet with them during this time is going to be tough.

It’s strange since I never had a problem using my vacation time before working for a nonprofit. I remember the excitement of having to book a vacation to some exotic new place for a week or so was something I looked forward to. Not so these days.

Not that it’s stopped me from planning a short weekend trip, but at any other time in my past work life, I would have reserved the entire time for traveling.

There was a time when I found it odd that employed adults confessed to giving up their vacation time. I thought it was absolutely crazy. I mean, who doesn’t need a break from work? As it turns out, millions of Americans apparently lose their vacation and sick times to avoid appearing selfish or lazy at work. That, or their workload prevents them from using those benefits.

But as I sit with myself, in the final silent hours of my day, I realize what a risk I’m taking by neglecting myself this way. There’s the potential¬† of becoming physically and mentally exhausted over time, which may lead to resentment and finally loss of interest in my work. It’s only a matter of time that this need to operate 24/7 on work mode may start to affect the way I feel and think and work. In the end, it’s not worth the guilt I feel.

I’ve come to terms with my vacation time. Instead of perceiving it as another hurdle my clients have to face, I’ve decided to view it as extended self-care time. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’ll divide that free time between rest, recharging, and refocusing on my goals. So it won’t be all play per se, but an opportunity to stay on top of this exhilarating rollercoaster life of mine.

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