On Friday of this week, I get to start an 8 day vacation. Sometimes, I am not ready for vacation. I have often said that it is harder to get everything ready to leave (both work and home) than it is just to stay and keep on plugging away. I know that it is very important to vacate; I even look forward to getting away. But when the signs start to glare at me, flashing red, and red, and red, I know the time has come. So, here is my list of clues that it is time for me to take a vacation.
1. Monday mornings consistently go wrong.
I count on Monday mornings to take care of a variety of tasks that direct me back to the week of work, and even to get a head start on some of those tasks. It is not unknown for me to get up an hour or two before usual to take care of those things. I will read a few blog articles, settle on an idea for my own blog and maybe even start into it, put out Mom’s medications and vitamins for the week, and make sure I have everything I need for dinner if it is my week to cook. (In our house, we alternate that responsibility a week at a time.)
Soooo….when an unexpected telephone call at an unholy hour ties me up for an hour, or when the soup I so carefully started with a Sunday night soak of the beans boils over as I sit down to begin my blog, I start to think it is time to shake up this routine and all the others.
2. Every new idea I come up with seems ridiculous….and often is.
Sometimes I am a really good idea generator. Part of having been a psychotherapist is having good skills at brainstorming and then teaching how to evaluate the options generated and how to implement them. The closer I get to vacation, the fewer my ideas become and the more outlandish they are. I mean, even I know that calling all of our customers this summer to see if there is anything they need is not feasible. But it sure seemed like a good idea….before I squashed it!
3. The idea of delegating tasks, even small tasks, seems wonderful!
We are blessed with wonderful co-workers. When I ask someone to do something, it is rare to get even a moment’s hesitation before I get questions about the details of the task…no matter how small or how large. Egalitarian / Feminist that I am, I have always been convinced that I should take care of small tasks myself rather than interrupt the work flow of someone else to do something for me. Grabbing something from a file, looking up a piece of information about a customer, making a photocopy… these are all things I usually don’t hesitate to do myself.
But when I am ready for a vacation…I would have someone else breathe for me….oh no, I can’t do that, that would mean they need to go to my yoga class for me and I really need that yoga class today!
4. It is hard to get serious about anything at work.
When the talk of our Power Ball pool starts and we need to decide what to do with the $15 we won, I am glad to sit and talk about our winnings and about every subject that spins off from there….
5. It is hard not to be serious about everything at work.
It is most clear that I need a vacation when I begin to see doom and gloom everywhere. I already have strong tendencies toward the negative. I need to work to maintain a positive focus…and I am most often successful at doing so.
When it is time for a vacation, the quicksand of my cynicism gets especially dangerous, sucking me in when I least expect it. My inclination to say “no” to each request or idea gets almost impossible to resist. You can see…what I had hoped would be a relatively light blog article has become a much more serious one. Yep, it is time for a vacation!
How do you know when you need time off to restore, recharge and renew your energy and creativity?
Oh, BTW, I will be on vacation next week. If I get this week’s work and next week’s work done before I go, there will be a post next Monday. If I don’t get it all in place in time…talk to you in two weeks.