A true (I-didn’t-even-think-about-work) vacation

I dislike my job a lot for several reasons that I won’t get into right now. But, despite that fact, I think about it — a lot.

I think about my work at work. When I am not at work, I think about work because I am usually still working since I have too much work that needs to get done. When I talk to my friends, I talk about how I wish someone would hire me for different work because I do not like my current work. When I go running, I try to clear my head but thoughts of whether a story will be done by deadline or whether so-and-so will call me back will infiltrate my mind. I dream about work and wake up stressed out — nice wake up call, huh?

On weekends when people generally are able to spend time relaxing or hanging out with friends, I typically am still thinking about work amidst doing those things. Or, sometimes — though thankfully not often — I am working because apparently the news doesn’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about work. I tend to think a lot about things that stress me out.

In July I was able to take a one-week vacation. I was in Hawaii for four of those days and you know what? Still thought about work. In fact, I hadn’t fully completed a story so I emailed it to my editor from my island vacation. Even after it was submitted, I still thought about work and how behind I would be when I returned to the office the next week.

The same goes for paid holidays. I just feel like it is one less day I am able to get work done and am therefore thinking about it the entire “day off.”

When I was in San Francisco for a weekend last month, I surprisingly didn’t think about work at all. Sure, I may have mentioned it on the plane-ride there, and I know I definitely had thoughts of work on the flight home. But, while I was in the Bay Area, nothing. I just enjoyed being in the lovely city with Joanna and feeling excited to run our second marathon together. And during the actual race I was in so much pain, there was no opportunity to think of anything but the pain. It was a good trip.

“So, you actually had a real vacation then?” a friend asked on my return.

“Yeah, I guess I did,” I replied, not really realizing it until a week later.

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