I was raised by a single dad who never took vacations. I can't remember a single one we took together (isn't that sad?). I grew up thinking it was 'strong' to not take breaks. When I was in elementary school, I won an award for not taking a day off of school in four years. FOUR YEARS. Not even one sick day. I was so proud of myself. So I equate vacation with weakness, even though logically I know that's not true.
I only take vacations when I'm serving someone else or when I'm otherwise being productive.
For example, I've been at my current job for a year and a half, and I've only taken two weeks off, one week for Christmas and one to care for my Mom after her knee replacement. Plus two days where I was air traveling the entire day. That's it.
And it's not like I didn't need a real vacation during that time. I hit my rock bottom about a year ago; I remember feeling like the world was ending at 4am, so I booked a same-day 6am flight out of Canada, packed and was in a cab in 10 minutes, called my sister in the terminal and said, "It's an emergency. I'm going to be at your local airport in 6 hours, and I'm going to spend the next two weeks on your couch crying."
I did spend the next two weeks on her couch crying, sleeping on an air mattress next to her bed because I couldn't handle sleeping in a room alone. And did I take at least a day off during that time? No. Isn't that kind of fucked up?
I haven't taken a single day off just to take care of myself, in years.
My Mom's getting her second knee replacement next month and I'm planning on visiting and taking another week off to care for her. I feel so relieved like, 'finally I have a reason to take some time off!'
I already have a reason to take some time off. It's called Madi. And I don't need to be caring for someone else or attending a family event, or knocking off bunch of tasks, or working on my career (because I am that person who would take a week off but spend it all working on my own projects). I need to take some time off for me. Because I'm worthy.