My 2016 Resolution: Vacation

I don’t usually set New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I’m cracking down on a major flaw of mine:

This year, I will use all of my vacation days.

It sounds silly, but it’s extremely serious: In fact, every person I tell my resolution to tells me “It’s about time.” I even got smacked upside the head today by one of our clergy. I love my church.

But in all seriousness: She told me that every time I don’t take a day off, I’m setting a standard that is unfair to everyone else that I work with, whether I mean to or not.

So this year, I’m using all of my vacation days. All of them.

This weekend when I work Friday and Saturday, I will then take an extra day off next week.

I will no longer answer emails and texts on a Saturday night when I’m chilling with friends and vino. That’s my time.

When I’m allowed time to take a personal retreat day, or some time working in the coffee shop, or building community with my volunteers instead of in a stuffy office, I’m going to go for it.

In fact, I’m writing it into my goals for this year (my supervisor has been working with me on this for a while. If you’re reading this, I’m trying but it’s so hard because my list is so long and there’s always so much to do and please have grace with me because this perfectionism thing is tough…).

This year, I’m taking Sabbath seriously.

…or, at least, I’ll do better than I did in 2015…

 

3 thoughts on “My 2016 Resolution: Vacation

  1. Luke says:

    Love this. I make the same mistake each year, and also had my Senior Pastor scold me for having vacation leftover this year.

    Question: How does your day off work? I find that I keep moving mine around to best fit the season I’m in, but because of that it is hard to communicate with staff/families when I am on a day off and might not respond.

    How do you pick your day off and how do you communicate that to your ministry?

    1. Heather Lea Campbell says:

      Hey Luke! My boss had me put this at the top of my performance objectives for the year, and I wrote something like “Take a weekly Sabbath, reallocating when needed.” I take Fridays and Saturdays, but I ALSO work one Friday a month + 5 weekend retreats a year + some random stuff. So those weeks I work my Sabbath I take it the following week. I used to make excuses–if I take Monday off, then I’ll have to cram stuff into a 3 day office workweek. But our Pastor of Care told me that people like me make a really difficult culture for ALL staff–when we don’t utilize our days off, it becomes expected that no one does. This all keeps me accountable.
      As for communicating that, we all report our days off to the front office, finance, and when it changes we have to email the front office. Some staff put their “off days” in their email signature. My volunteers know it and they work to protect it…most of the time. I’ve stopped answering their texts and emails about random stuff on the weekends, and they know any schedule changes need to happen by Thursday.
      That’s a lot, but does that answer it? For me, I just need to quit making excuses for myself. I’m allowed to let things drop if for Sabbath.

      1. Luke says:

        That makes sense and I appreciate all the detail. I really appreciate your boss’ explanation that it sets unrealistic standards for the rest of the staff.

        Part of my own process of getting real about rest is asking others how they do it. Thanks for replying!

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