I am currently on vacation visting my husband who lives a couple thousand miles away from where I go to school (literally).  I haven’t taken a real vacation in well over a year (moving your husband 2000 mi away, going to weddings, and visiting your family do not count).  I had been putting it off because of course, I was going to graduate in only a couple of months so therefore I could just wait.  A couple of months stretched into a year and so I decided I should just go ahead and take a vacation.

I left last Friday and will return this Saturday and I am having a great time, except that in my spare moments, I feel like I should be doing some “work.”  Maybe read a paper or something like that.  Think about writing the intro to my thesis.  I had decided that I would NOT do any work whatsoever while on vacation not even in the airport or on the plane, but this is turning out to be harder than I expected it to be.

The reason I decided not to do any work is because I have been suffering from severe burn-out.  I wanted to get complete and total rest from work so that I would be refreshed when I got back.  I wasn’t even sure a week would be enough time to do that but I really can’t afford to take more time off than that.

So, why do I want to do work stuff?  I think I don’t actually want to do work, per se.  I think I feel like I should be doing work because I have the time available.  Therefore, I believe I am suffering from a mild form of vacation guilt.

Anyone know a cure for vacation guilt?

1 thought on “Vacation

  1. My lab is such a crappy place, and I’ve come to the place in my grad school career (almost the end too, and I though it would be almost a year ago) that I realize I work way too much and I’m missing way too much. So I really don’t suffer vacation guilt ‘while’ I’m on vacation. I enjoy my vacations. I don’t have any money to go on vacations like people think – my vacations consist of visiting my parents for an extended amount of time, a few days to a week.

    Anyway, I suffer from ‘vacation guilt’ when I get back. However, look on the bright side. You went on vacation because you needed a break and were suffering from burnout. You deserve the break. And the resulting vacation guilt will motivate you to get to get to work when you get back!

    On the otherhand, if it’s been a really good break I suffer from ‘post-vacation depression.’ I had such a relaxing time at home that I get depressed when I have to come back and go to my horrible lab, so I often find myself staying in my apartment for a couple days.

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