Overcoming the Fear of Vacation

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I’ve met a good amount of people in my lifetime and no matter their race, religion, job, family, size or shape, every single one of them was afraid of something.  Statistics will show that most Americans fear public speaking and death the most however for me, it’s always been vacations.  You might be wondering if that means things like plane crashes or falling from a mountain while hiking … but I actually mean coming back to work after leaving for an extended period of time.

There once was a time when I worked for a company and not for myself.  Outside of the six years I spent at McDonald’s, anytime I would go home for the holidays brought a ton of anxiety.  Not because my family and I don’t love each other, but because time away from work always left me wondering if my job would change when I return.  The word ‘change’ means a variety of things, but ultimately I would wonder if I would even have a job when I came back.

Vacations are supposed to be something to look forward to, but for me, they were feared.  Some of the craziness I had concocted in my head was:

  • The company would realize that they don’t need me to function properly
  • My coworkers would talk behind my back
  • A big decision would be made without my knowledge or input

I suppose you could say this has to do with my own insecurities more than anything else but no matter how good at my job I was (or I thought I was), every second I spent away from work was spent thinking about work.  Then, when I left the corporate world to work for myself two years ago, I’ve avoided vacations for kind of the same reason.  It was simply a fear I had to overcome, like any other.

So last weekend, the Mrs. and I decided to take an unplanned trip to North Carolina for five days.  This trip was to a cabin with another couple with no television or internet capabilities and would include two days of traveling by automobile.  Initially, I didn’t want anything to do with this vacation, because I imagined myself falling behind in work and losing potential revenue.  Then, I realized that this opportunity may not present itself again and took the plunge.   Wouldn’t you know that it turned out to be very relaxing and when I returned home, nothing bad happened.

Even working for myself, I’ve developed a fear of not working but hopefully over the next few weeks, months and years, I’ll realize that taking time off from work is the healthiest option for me.

Published or Updated: July 29, 2011

Comments

  1. Gary says:

    I never understood the fear of vacations until I started doing freelance work. It seems like such a crazy thing. I’ve got a big trip planned for August and I’m already worried about it. Once I get out on the road I’ll be thinking about that though. Hopefully only 1 or 2 places we’re staying at will have wi-fi.

  2. You know it’s funny, but as much as people tend to complain about “going to work,” or “not liking their job,” or their boss, we really thrive off of it. You were scared to leave your job, for fear of people talking about you or realizing that you might not be necessary… but I think a lot of people are scared for another reason: fear of change! For whatever would we do if we were not at work five days a week? What would we do with free time? Like on a vacation! I think a lot of people (perhaps myself included) really rely on having that schedule, that purpose, that something to do!

  3. I too fear vacations, since I have to leave my work behind. I generally frantically strive to finish all of my responsibilities before going anywhere! I read the 4 hour work week which changed my view of work and vacations — deciding that short vacations at regular intervals are better than a long boring retirement when I’m too old to enjoy it! However, I invented the concept of a “workation”. It’s wonderful. Do your work online (if possible) from a remote location. I have my favorite location in the mountains where I feel charged up and able to work 12 hours a day and still feel fresh. Then, I enjoy a long hike each day for two days, and then it’s back to work again. This system is perfect for me.

    Incidentally, on the converse side, I wrote a blog article for mobile notaries entitled, “How to lose half your clients while on vacation”. If you have regular clients who need you, at a minimum, you should warn them before you go!

    Jeremy Belmont is the author of the 123notary BLOG
    http://blog.123notary.com/

  4. Sophie says:

    I fear fearing vacations. I would be really upset if one day I would not be able or even put off a vacation, because of work. I am a human being, not a worker or a consumer like this culture makes your identity out to be.

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