To Take a Vacation or Not To Take a Vacation

You guessed it, my struggle during this time of year is what to do about vacation. In the old days, when I worked for someone else, it was a much easier decision because I had no choice. However, now that I own my own business, I do have a choice. One would think the freedom to take time off whenever you want would be fantastic. However, as many small business owners know, when you take a vacation, you often end up feeling guilty instead.

A person sitting on a beach with their legs in the water representing time to take a vacation.
Image by Kaboompics.

I notice that some of my associates who have children are really good at just taking the entire summer off. It’s partially because they have no choice but mostly because being with your children all summer definitely does not leave you riddled with guilt. It seems to be a very acceptable and well-founded decision.

So, why is it that when I (with no children), decide I want to take a vacation in the summer, I can’t seem to do it? The knot in my stomach begins to form, the annoying little voice in my head starts chattering, and I back down and delete the vacation days I marked in my calendar. How dare I think I can take two weeks off? Who will pay the bills? What if I miss an important opportunity? What if a new client calls during that time? Or what if the sky falls in? And so on and so on…

And then there’s the neverending To-Do list that I can’t make progress on while I’m on vacation. In fact, sometimes I tell my clients I’m taking a week off, and then I hide in my office. Then I work on the projects I listed on my big whiteboard (actually, mine is silver, kinda cool, huh?). It tells me I have some website revisions and a new workshop series to pull together for the fall. Also, I have a trip to Newfoundland in September, and the list goes on and on and on…

But wait! What about summer? Summer in Nova Scotia only lasts a few weeks, and I need to take advantage of it. If I don’t take a vacation, summer will be over before I get a chance to enjoy it. So, I’m booking a few weeks off and planning to do things with other people. It’s a commitment, so I’m less likely to change my mind. I am also taking a week off later in the summer, and I already made a reservation “away” for two days at the beginning of that week. Surely that will force me to complete the week since my brain will already be on vacation.

I like the sounds of this already. Apparently, taking a vacation is good for health and well-being (imagine that). Let’s all be sure to take a vacation this summer. We’ll be thankful we did when it’s all said and done. The work will still be there when we return, won’t it?

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