I'm back after the longest vacation I've taken in years- 10 days. I've heard about people who say that they need two full weeks to unwind. A pastor-friend tells me that he needs to get out of the country before he can really feel like rest settles in. I think I get that now.
The positive thing about vacation: deep rest and renewal.
The negative realization about vacation: it took me a full five days to stop working.
It's not that I actually wanted to work, I didn't. It was similar to what they teach you in driver's ed when you are 16. It's called velocitization and is defined as:
"The condition where frequently driving at high speeds affects your overall sense of speed. You become permanently velocitized."
I'm not proud of this but the symptoms were clear:
- Checking my work email when no one was looking
- Feeling distracted by problems at work that I couldn't solve within five minutes
- Not enjoying the beach and sun
This shouldn't be all that surprising but most of feel like when we begin a vacation, all of the stresses of work should turn off. It doesn't work like that. Stress needs time and distance to diminish.
Something had to change. If vacation went on like this, I might as well have returned my airfare and written a big, fat apology note to my wife and kids. Thankfully, time was all that I needed and day by day, work drifted into the past.
At around day five, people at work stopped emailing me and vacation really began. The rest, as they say, is history and beautiful Naples, Florida became a home away from home.
What do you do when you realize that you're working too much?