I can’t remember the last time I scheduled time off from work.
The only time I ever am not working is when I am sick, and I have to be really sick to take a day off.
As an original staycationer, taking vacation is just not something I’ve ever really done or cared about doing. But, since the company I work for tries to promote work-life balance, I decided I would take a week off.
Plus, they give us a ton of PTO and I had requested a week before it was announced we could indeed roll over some of our unused time to the following year.
I didn’t want to go anywhere.
Even before the pandemic, I am not one that liked traveling. Leaving my own little bubble was just asking for more anxiety and new things to worry about. I’ve got too many animals to board and didn’t trust anyone with them and am not so sure they would allow anyone else to take care of them either. Doodle is still warming up to Mama seven years later.
No, I had planned out a whole week of things I was going to do to enjoy my time off to the fullest.
I was going to clean out my closet and get it rearranged more efficiently. Not in a Marie Kondo kind of a way but in a way that would allow me to find the exact black T-shirt I was looking for when I needed it. All of my leggings needed to be somehow organized too.
I was going to do a home spa day — I had all the stuff ready to go. It was going to be a whole day of pure self-pampering and I needed it.
I was going to finally get a yoga routine in place. I planned to wake up early to get on my mat for at least 30 minutes. This would definitely help my anxiety and calm my mind, and maybe put some body parts back where they used to be before I started spending eight hours a day on a computer.
I was going to read. I have several books I have been stacking by my chair for the perfect free afternoon to dig in and escape into a new world. Those moments never come as I always feel like I am doing something — working, doing a project, this or that — and don’t get to even open the cover. When I was younger, it was normal for me to be so excited about a new book I would take a day off just to read. But adulting is hard and has interrupted those fleeting moments of joyful freedom.
I had a few courses for continuing ed I needed to work on and just hadn’t found the time.
I also had a few big housekeeping tasks I wanted to take care of that would just be a bit aggravating to deal with during the work week.
I made my Vacation Week To-Do List and even put little motivational stickers on the page to indicate how excited I was about what I had planned.
On Monday, I selfishly did absolutely nothing and I am so glad I did, because the rest of the week was a nightmare full of stress and situations that consumed my time.
You know that saying, a person makes plans and God laughs? Well, evidently my week was a regular comedy show.
Instead of the relaxing bliss I had planned, it was one big mishap after another. Things that should have been relatively easy to take care of turned into long, complicated issues.
It was almost like there was a conspiracy to make sure my week off was a big old bust.
This, I thought, this is why I never take time off. I either get sick or something happens that causes me to not enjoy my time off. It’s never failed. If I had time off planned, something would happen to make it go awry.
Here I was, with a week all planned out of things I needed and really wanted to do, and hardly got any of it done.
To add to the chaos, Mama’s landline was out all week, so on top of my own personal craziness, I was having to help her by getting updates on when her phone would be fixed. Finally, on Friday, it was.
“How was your week off?” she asked.
I wanted to cry. “It was awful. I feel like I haven’t had a day off at all, and now it’s over.”
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “What was so bad?”
“Everything,” I said. “This is why I don’t take time off. It never goes as planned!”
“I understand,” she said. “We’ve never had much luck as a family with taking time off.”
Maybe this is why my family never took a vacation when I was growing up. Any time I would suggest it as a child, Granny would get downright angry and say she didn’t have time to take a vacation.
“Don’t you get time off from work?” I’d ask.
“Yes, I do, but I ain’t got the time nor the patience to have to play catch up when it’s over. You have no idea what all can go wrong when you take a dadblamed week off.”
I always thought she was referring to work that was left unattended to while she was gone.
Now I know.
My week of relaxing bliss was anything but, and now, I may need to take another week off just to recover from my vacation.
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.