I’m On Vacation And Feeling Guilty About It

I wouldn’t be me if I couldn’t feel some anxiety about having fun. In this case, I’m feeling a weird about leaving work for just over two weeks.

Through a strange and incredibly fortunate combination of circumstances, I have somehow found myself on two week long cruise.

It’s unbelievably beautiful every where I go, and there’s a heat that lays across my skin like a comforting sweater whenever I set outside. I’m a little obsessed with the ocean, so I keep finding myself in either a pool on the ship or in one of the many beaches we have docked on thus far until way past nightfall, listening to the waves crash and  sometimes even slipping in and out of sleep.

Whenever I go on vacation, I feel like I revert to being the harassed lady-protagonist in a Lifetime movie about a Big City Girl trying to adjust to a relaxation Tropical Town. Think lots of over-packing montages where I bring too many pants and slow camera pans from the lush landscape to me half-assedly jogging on a beach. Most of all, I can’t seem to go more than a full day without having weird anxiety about the job I’ve temporarily left behind or the gym schedule I just haven’t been sticking to.

“Are you going to come down to the casino?” my partner keeps asking me.

“In a minute,” I have to umm, eyeing his sweating margarita. “I just have to check on these Facebook postings and plan my next workout, you know?”

It’s also, frankly, kind of weird, I work my tail off at my full-time job, I go to the gym whenever possible, I attend spin class and do at-home yoga, sure, but I’m also not one of those high-powered business-types who has to make spreadsheets at every opportunity, and I’m no longer someone who breaks down and cry’s because she can’t get in her daily workout.

For some reason, though, that all goes out the window when I take time off. Maybe it’s because this particular vacation was kind of impromptu, in that we found this amazing cruise at a discounted price last minute, booked instantly and then worried about asking for the time off. But I keep feeling irrationally nervous about having fun while my colleagues are sucking back coffee and running around the packed restaurant while under staffed, my gym friends are hitting new personal bests without me and someone new has definitely joined spin class by now and has decided that MY favorite bike is now their favorite bike,  two time zones behind me.

According to a couple articles that I’ve read, lots of Canadians don’t even use their vacation time, presumably due to the belief that if they spent even an hour away from their every day life the whole world would crumble around them.

I know, I know. This is one of those “problems that isn’t a real problem.” I’m incredibly lucky to be able to take time off from my every day life and to have saved up enough money to fund a trip with a friend that I love to be around, we are making memories some only get to dream about.

I really like my job, and I hate feeling like I’m leaving everyone at work in the lurch. So, naturally, I keep having terrible day-mares about coming back to “Don’t Bother Coming Back” spelled out in crepe batter on the charred, smoking ruin where my station used to be. Or walking into the gym a few day’s later and seeing all my favorite equipment gone, spin class is now over full and my gym buddies have made new friends.

Of course, this isn’t rooted solely in compassion. As with everything else in my life, I carry around the fear of being useless, and a tiny part of me is always afraid that my co-workers and gym buddies are going to realize that my absence is barely even noticeable.  I’m not quite self-centered enough to think I’m indispensable, but I’d hate to have anyone believe I’m dead weight.

Hence, my frantic check ups on everyone that I’ve left back home. And the obsessive checking of both this site and my Facebook page whenever we dock somewhere with free wifi.

On the one hand, it’s my vacation, which means that I can behave myself however I please (to a reasonable point). If that translates to doing a smidge of work here and there, going to the on-boat gym and posting about it on Instagram so all my gym friends see, to soothe my anxiety, I guess that’s on me.

On the other hand, it’s probably an excellent time to give my brain a bit of a wash. I’m with my best friend, visiting multiple countries, doing crazy things, seeing amazing views and eating till our bellies are bulging, he understands my obsessive impulses but would probably rather I hang out with himthan sit on my laptop.

And I have three days left of this vacation. So I’m going to try my best to enjoy it without feeling too guilty about it.

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