I took two vacation days off of work to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend and I am hoping to take a week off over Labor Day. That will be it for my summer vacation. Even taking that limited time off is rough with all of the work that I have pending. It makes me feel guilty going away. Also, the amount of work that I have to do just so I can leave is overwhelming and knowing the disaster that inevitably awaits me upon my return makes a vacation seem not even worth it. It’s somewhat depressing that I feel guilty taking time away because I DESERVE IT and it’s a major reason why I sometimes wish that I was not a lawyer.
Now, as I stated above, I took two days off before the Fourth of July weekend. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Wrong. My work schedule was crazy since I was trying to get caught up and then ahead to prepare for my two big days away from my job. When I got home from work, I packed, I planned, and I cleaned to prepare for my long weekend away from home. By the time I left, I had everything under control and I was content knowing that I probably wouldn’t return to an out of control work situation or a disgusting house. So I left and then I arrived home five days later. I realized three things upon my return that were not issues until I had kids.
No matter how far ahead I try and get before I leave work to go on vacation, things are going to be bad when I return. 100’s of emails, voicemails from clients irritated that I’m not in the office, emergency situations that must be dealt with immediately, a mailbox bursting with client letters and court orders, new files on my desk, and notes from my secretaries. Fun times galore. All these new items in addition to the work that I left before vacation make me want to turn and flee as soon as I walk into my office. I spent the first three days back from my Fourth of July mini-vacation trying to deal with new emergencies before I could get back to what I was working on prior to leaving for vacation just a couple days earlier.
Considering that I never really am caught up on anything anymore, leaving for a few days makes it worse. All of those to-do lists just got longer while I was gone. Bill due dates are closer now. That car oil change still needs to be scheduled, the other car needs a state inspection, I need to go to the eye doctor, the dog needs to go to the vet, I need to call the insurance company to get that billing issue resolved. The list goes on and on and on. Losing that few days while on vacation doesn’t make it any easier to get caught up on life. Once I arrive home from vacation, all that I want to do is pile my stuff on the floor in the entryway and go to bed. Sadly, that doesn’t happen because I need to get my kid ready for bed, prepare her lunch, clothes, and items for daycare the next day, unpack, do laundry, and get myself ready for work the following day. I typically won’t get to bed until after midnight, which means I will be exhausted for work.
I try so hard to ensure that my house is in order before I walk out the door to go on vacation. It simply makes things easier for me when I get home. I make sure that everything is cleaned, organized, and put away before I leave. That way I am sure to come home to a neat and tidy house. I even strategically place baby gates throughout the house so the dogs are limited to two rooms. However, something also goes wrong while I’m gone. For example, over the Fourth, the girl who dog sat for me (and who I paid a fortune to ensure that my dogs and my house were cared for) let the dogs out of the gated areas. I came home to the dogs having free reign of the entire house, poop all over the second floor, pee in all kinds of places, and cat poop and kitty litter scattered on the third floor because the dogs can’t help themselves when it comes to unmonitored access to the cat litter boxes. That all had to be cleaned up before I could unpack. Needless to say, the girl who was supposed to be caring for the dogs is probably fired.
Although time away causes me a massive amount of stress, the fact that I didn’t bother to think about any of this nonsense while on mini-vacation made my little vacation away from life totally worth it. With that said, I plan on taking a full week off over Labor Day and I’m going to let my stress go. So responsibilities can suck it until I get home when they hit me in the face as soon as I walk in the door (along with the smell of the dog poop on the floor).