Way back in January, I’d booked a vacation for this upcoming week. Then came the ‘crazies’ and I was away from work for 5 weeks.
Moral question: Was it okay for me to still take my vacation even though I’d just gotten back to work?
I fretted. I worried. I deserved a vacation! No I didn’t, I just got back to work…the freaking out was endless. I was worried that it would be inappropriate if I went away, yet I knew if I did – it would be the best thing for me and my wounded psyche.
I consulted EVERYONE. My doctor, therapist, friends, family – my pet birds – everyone (and everybird) seemed to think it would be a fantastic idea for me to just GO. Even my boss said it was okay, he practically threw my ass out the door.
Yet – I was still feeling ill at ease. I was always taught that if I was sick enough to stay home from school/work, I was too sick to go out anywhere. What if someone saw me? I swear, the first two weeks I was off from work, I was terrified to go out in case someone saw me and thought ‘well, she doesn’t LOOK sick, she’s probably just faking it.’
Ah. Part of the whole ‘worrying what others think’ syndrome that I’ve been saddled with since I was a kid.
I have a friend of mine who doesn’t seem to care that she would take time off from work, yet be well enough to go out for dinner. I just couldn’t wrap my head around that. And, it bugged the hell out of me. I talked to my therapist about it. After all, it just seemed very irresponsible to me. She explained that sometimes, what we see in others that bothers us, is what we ourselves have suppressed. I had to mull that one over and then it came to me – my friend did what she thought was good for her, at that moment. She didn’t care what others thought. She put herself FIRST.
Oh. Um, okay, I guess I get that. And then I had a Grinch moment, you know – the one where he realizes that Christmas ain’t so bad, and he gets that dumbass grin on his face – I could put me first, too! I could take my vacation! I could take it because I knew it would be the very best thing for me to do! I, for once in my life, decided that although I care very much about being gainfully employed, I needed to do what was right for me. And so, tomorrow morning, I leave for a quiet, secluded cabin on the west coast of Canada, where there are no phones, no computers, no televisions – no nothing. Just me and the sea. There isn’t a therapist in the world that can match the feeling I get when I’m surrounded by trees, miles of walking trails, wild birds and the sound and smell of the ocean. It purifies my heart and soul.