Vacation More Quit Less
The other day the Old Man was reminded of an article I wrote back in 2016 right before we went on our first vacation in almost a year (thank you Facebook memories). I am re-posting it again because I feel like it is a lesson we as a family are still learning, and I am guessing that means many of you as well. Burn out is real, life now is constant thanks to the internet, smart phones, and social media. We all need a good reminder to take time off to recharge ourselves. As the Old Man said to me yesterday, “You can’t re-fire until you reload.”
So enjoy a lesson from past me, and let it remind you that time off is not a luxury, but a need for the human mind and body. Go- Go plan a vacation and staycations count, and when you come back send me some pics or if you truly went digital free, let me know where you went and I can add it to the list of many places we need to go.
It should also be noted this trip was the tipping point on Riskypsy and van life. Six months after this trip we hit the road and roamed the US. Proof that when you let go you get really good ideas!
Original Post Date 08/2016
The Old Man and I are planning an epic vacation for the month of August, it will be the longest vacation I have ever taken and the first true vacation I have taken in two years. To say I am excited would be the understatement of the decade.
At the beginning of the year the Old Man told me we needed to plan a real vacation for both of our sakes. I have wanted to go out west for a few years now so I said “why don’t we drive the PCH?” He was down and so we had a very very loose plan of a vacation. Fast forward Sunday dinner with the parents and them talking about their fall trip out to the Grand Canyon and surrounding area and I confessed our desire to hit the PCH and which way should we go LA to SF or SF to LA. My mom suggested we start in SF and head north up into Oregon. That idea worked for me, cross off two US states, add some hiking to our wine country tour, and finally get to check out Portland, OR.
The Old Man is a big proponent of having very specific travel plans, I am a bit more hey let’s pick some days, rent a car and see what happens. After another family Sunday dinner my mom asked if I wanted her to plan our trip, I said yes. So for the record I am a 43 year old married woman who had her mother plan her vacation!!! I take pride in that, if you saw how my mom plans vacations you would want her doing it for you as well ( I am willing to rent her out for the record). Not to sound like a horrible and spoiled child, my mom really enjoys doing the research and planning for trips and she had just finished all her research and planning for her own trip. So she got the fun of planning two trips but only paying for one. (I promise she really likes planning just ask my dad.)
A few weeks ago mom sent out the email with the itinerary and places we should reserve for overnights. It was time to pick actual days, put them on work calendars and get flights. All that set up, it was time to print out the itinerary and start doing my assigned pre trip work (think order Alcatraz tickets). I have been telling the Old Man how excited I am for this trip, Aug can’t get here soon enough. After one conversation where there may have been a bit of jumping up and down and clapping of hands the Old Man responded with: “If you took more vacations you may not want to quit your job all the time.”
While it seems like a pretty obvious statement, this one time it really hit home. The Old Man is a 100% or 0% type of person so he is either working at full speed or he is smoking cigars and drinking scotch with his phone and laptop gathering dust. I have always taken pride in the fact that on Friday at 5 I am done with work until Monday at 8am (maybe a bit earlier). I always assume that taking two days off a week staves off burn out. I do take vacations, but they usually involve visiting family (not always fun) or taking a day off here and there for a long weekend or just a mental health day.
Lately I have been envisioning a life where I don’t have to work, I even wrote a blog article about it, my boss even commented on it. The odd part (at least to me) is I like my job, I like my co-workers, and I work remotely so I can’t even complain about a long commute making me feel dragged down, all of that and I still want to quit that just doesn’t seem to make sense. That is until the Old Man pointed out that I had not been on a real vacation in over two years. I am a pretty laid back person, but even the most laid back need to walk away from everyday life and press the reset button. Sure for the last two years I have visited my other mother a few times, taken a few three or four day weekends, but all of those trips involved me dragging my laptop with me and doing a little work here or there. Not because I was particularly expected too, but because I expected it of myself.
Now as excited about my vacation I am a bit nervous about not working, a new feeling for me. I am not a workaholic, I don’t think that my company can’t live without me, I just now have a job I like, want to do a good job at, and maybe a little bit of impostor syndrome that is happening. I am a bit concerned being gone 2 weeks that my inbox will be a bit crowded and the backup of work will feel insurmountable, but I think my biggest fear is that my company will figure out how to do my job so well they won’t find a need for me. I know that fear is a bit illogical but such is my life and my brain. I guess if they do figure out how to manage without me I will get my wish of not working (careful what you wish for). I am excited to be on vacation, but I am also excited to see what being fully recharged and working is like, I am thinking so many great ideas that I workflow myself out of a job, but leave with an OMG she made our company so streamline and profitable! Ok that maybe a bit of a stretch, but I am looking forward to fresh eyes on old problems.
For the next few weeks I will be jumping up and down, worrying about what to pack, and making hotel reservations, but I for sure will not be worrying about where to pack my laptop it will be staying home with the pups.