I am struggling tonight, actually I have been struggling all day with a decision about whether to go on my long ago planned vacation or not. I’m really feeling the pressure of moving into my new place and all the changes that means for my budget and now I’m questioning whether or not I should go on vacation, or just take the days off and use them to pack and “relax” at “home”. (I’ll explain all the quotation marks as I go on.)
On one hand I really need a break. I have a very stressful job. I work in a law office that represents sexual assault survivors in civil legal matters. Vicarious trauma is part and parcel with the job. I try not to carry the stories around with me, but it’s inevitable. Never mind that some of them hit so close to home that some days are just overwhelming. I know I’m getting pretty close to burnout because I found myself absolutely annoyed with quite a few clients last week. One in particular who was being raped and beaten by her husband. She decided to go back to him, asked the court to revoke her protection order and now, two days after moving back home…he’s back at it and she “doesn’t know what to do”! Well, I had some suggestions for her! But empowerment advocacy requires that I affirm her power to make her own decisions for her life. I so wanted to say (and did once I hung up with her), “what the hell is wrong with you?!?! You can’t be surprised!!” I screamed, “this is why I stopped doing domestic violence and switched to sexual assault.” It is supposed to be a reprieve. Really. It is. Anyway, I know I can use the break.
And, the last time I took “vacation” was the first week of January. How did I use that time? Packing up the old house, going through the old stuff, dredging up all the memories and pain to move to my current location. It was heart wrenching and emotionally exhausting. Some vacation! I was an emotional wreck when I went back to work after that.
Add to this dilemma the fact that three sentences I go I referred to my current “location” and not home, because this stopped feeling like home 2 weeks ago. So as much as I’d want to consider chilling at home for a week, it’s nearly impossible for me to relax here.
But my budget just got really, really tight. I can’t really afford to take this trip, but I feel like I can’t afford not to either. I need to get away. I need some down time to think. I haven’t touched my journal in over 6 months. I need to make some career decisions so that I can continue to eat. And I just need some time away from clients’ drama at work, and my own drama at home. I need a break, to get away, so I can re-engage and tackle all that’s going to be waiting for me when I return: catching up at work, deciding if I should continue to do this work, the move, the new/additional job search, the stress of the new budget until something gives etc.
Part of me feels like I’m being financially irresponsible by going. Another part feels like I’m being irresponsible in my self-care by not going.
I need help with this one.
What would you guys do? What should I do?