20 Minute Vacations- Making Room For Yourself in your Life

Good evening, friends and neighbors!

With the warmer spring weather, I’ve been making a point of getting out on the deck a bit more (you may have noticed a theme in my Instagram recently…)

Let’s face it- when you’re in food service, a sunny afternoon on the porch is likely the closest thing I’ll get to a vacation for a while.

Always On

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a “workaholic”- but my relationship with work is admittedly rough.

One of my personality traits- for better or for worse- is loyalty. “Worse” because- as a friend expressed while talking about her partner- my coworkers become like family to me, and I am fiercely supportive of those who support me in turn.

Historically, this has led her partner (and, by extension, me) to give work messages and concerns a higher priority than they strictly need. Call it the Boy Scout in me- a Scout is Loyal, and a Scout has Duty to Serve. It never occurs to either of us that, no- we don’t need to be on call constantly.

On top of my existing tendency to link my productivity with my self-worth, this means that when I’m at the bakery, I’m working hard and taking on more than I should. This actually got me in trouble with a manager the other day.

At home, I worry about work, or I’m working on the blog.

If I’m not working on the blog, or a book, or something… I don’t know what to do with myself.

I never really “go home…” so I’ve run out of room in my own life.

This is tragically common, especially with millennials. We are raised, encouraged, urged to be constantly productive. Always in touch, always connected, always on, hustling, grinding, keeping on keeping on in order to build the life we were told to want… and then we run out of time to live it.

That’s why I’ve decided recently that, if I can’t stand not getting some task finished… I’m going to make my relaxation a task to finish.

Don’t give me that look- follow me on this.

Relaxing takes many forms- it’s a vital part of life. We’re not MEANT to be going full-tilt all day every day. Unfortunately, for most of us, “relaxation” takes the form of our default “doing nothing”-

Imagine instead if, on your to-do list everyday, you included something specific for you to do… for fun?

I’ve been trying this out in the past week. With a massive project now finished, I find myself suddenly with a little more energy. Every day, sometimes while I’m still at work, I’ll ask myself:

What do I want to do for myself today?

With that in mind, I have gotten myself to-

  • Play guitar on the deck for a bit and learn a new song.
  • Gone to find my favorite beer and enjoyed it before bed.
  • Gone through the fruit in the fridge and made a pie. (This one is heavily endorsed by Emily.)

What’s happened? Every single one of those things- and none of the guilty feelings I used to get about “wasting time” or “not being productive.” With that anxiety gone, I’ve found that I can enjoy those things even more- by literally scheduling time for myself.

Time well spent is never wasted, and you always have time for what you make time for.

Getting vacation time when you have a kitchen job may be difficult, but now I can schedule small ones for myself every day.

After all, what is the point of working hard to build a life if you can’t get yourself to enjoy the life you’ve built?

The author wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, holding a backpacker guitarDo you think you’re a bit of a workaholic? Why? How would you spend the time you make for yourself? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Classy,

Currently Reading: “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” by T. E. Lawrence

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