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.