Grown-up Decisions

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?


11 thoughts on “Grown-up Decisions

  1. Tell you what. Do the packing/moving thing FIRST. THEN, go on vacation after. That way you don’t have to rush the packing to meet your vacation time and the ‘vacation’ will be reward and a welcome rest after the ordeal of moving – I hate moving. So I don’t know if you were planning to leave the country? Re the money situation now, just delay your vacation and just take a few days and chillax (chill and relax) at home. Maybe just 3 days? Make sure you do it AFTER you’ve packed out everythingg at the new place though or it won’t be a vacation.

    Do a real vacation later when your finance situation is better.

  2. Call your mama and ask her for a few bucks, cuz food is all you’ll really need to pay for anyway.

    We’re hitting the road, regardless. (Pushy enough?)

    I’m not a neutral third party. Consider everyone else’s opinions first.

  3. @ RChammer

    Um. No. Hate to be mean, but I read your profile and you’re the last thing I need right now. (Sorry to sound like a ass. Read his profile. You’ll understand.)

    @ Gela

    Unfortunately all dates are etched in stone. It’s either go or not. Those are my only choices. After my day at work today I really, really, really need to go!!! The funny thing is that the move is the less stressful thing of all. I’m actually excited and relieved about that part.

    @ Tania, i mean Katrice. Dang it!!

    I know you’re gonna club me over the head and make me go no matter what. I don’t even know why I bothered to post this. And, no matter how tight things are, this won’t be the end of my financial world…another check cometh. Thanks for being pushy.

  4. 5 words. GET A NEW JOB ALREADY!!! i’m guessing a good 50% of your troubles are job related. These other victims’ burdens are killing you. I honestly believe they are damaging you more than you are helping them.

    Regarding the vacation. I say this at the risk of sounding christianese, which i really dont want to do. (christianese = hypocritical aspect of Christianity) Stewardship. If you take this vacation knowing you could have better spent the money better and that this is a critical time in your life then #1 you will not enjoy your trip properly, #2 things will just seem to get worse and worse, #3 you will seriously seriously regret your choice that you can’t take back.

    an example from my life. Just before moni-q and i got married, i made one of the stupidest decisions in my life. I was running a failing business. I had a fiancee who had just moved out of her irate parents’ house and was living with a friend (they were irate because we were getting married). At the same time i had been saving up for a turbo system for my car. I was planning to buy it for a LOOONNGG time and was just about to before all the crap went down. (the whole her parents thing)

    I had a choice. I knew this was all the money i had in the world. I knew we would likely have to get married much sooner than later because she couldnt stay forever where she was at. That money would have helped out tremendously for us as a young married couple. Guess what choice i made? wrong! i chose the turbo system. Why? because it was what i had already planned and felt i deserved it. I told myself i couldnt live without it, i NEEDED it, it’d been so long since i treated myself. That was the absolute stupidest choice i could’ve made.

    I was so miserable i didnt know what to do. It was the wrong choice. i had hell with the system adapting it to my car ON TOP of all the horrible horrible guilt i couldn’t shake. God was doing his best to knock me upside my head.

    Fast forward to the end of the story. My dad started breaking bad making me choose between the family or monique. 1 week after the turbo purchase we eloped. The day before our wedding we managed to take the turbo off (it was killing the car seriously) and off to chicago we went…with a really really really loud broken exhaust system (parts were thrown away that we could not afford to replace). You already know the rest of the story.

    My point is we often lie to ourselves and trick ourselves into thinking we need something that we really don’t need. We just WANT it pretty f’ing badly. You may deserve a break and have been planning it for a long time, but truth is you probably could deal in the mean time and leap over the wall God has put there instead of running into it.

    I’m convinced God does this crap on purpose. If we forgo our feelings and make the wise choice i think He blesses us, and if we choice incorrectly i think he lets us wallow in our own shit a little longer.

    Not trying to upset you with my answer, it’s just a lesson i’ve been through ALOT and have failed ALOT…and have a lot of scars from.

  5. @ MC_Mutt

    Let me jump in and rescue you before you get turned into minced meat.

    Granted, I have considered the regret factor. But here’s the part you don’t know…This vacation is not going to cost me anything. I only have to pay to feed myself for a week. If I were to stay home, I could eat the groceries I already have…but with my whole kitchen already packed… I might end up spending that $$ eating out anyway.

    And, I NEED a break. This is not a luxury by any means. The idea of stewardship is why I bothered to post this dilemma in the first place…but I need to be a steward of my body and my sanity as well as my $$$

    Go EASY on him folks!!!

  6. lol if that’s the case and it’s already paid for, i wouldnt have even mentioned it, you guys would have found out when i sent emails from said location. 🙂

    I hope you enjoy yourself.

  7. Mutt, and she married you anyway??? Whoa! It must be love!

    Just kidding… we have our own matching set of stories where we should have chosen Door #2.

  8. Having spent my life spending my money on whatever I wanted (talk about an impulse buyer) the recent purchase of a home has made think and rethink every purchase I make — but still buy exactly what I wanted. I have never learned to be financially responsible. I have lived pay check to paycheck since I have been a working adult. I hate this part of being a grown up…I want someone else to worry about paying the mortgage. But here was my rude awakening… I went to visit a friend recently and noticed that her yard was sunken in. I asked her what happened. She told me that a pipe burst in the front yard and they had to have the yard dug up and the pipe replaced and the yard filled back in at a whopping cost of $5,000 — and here’s the kicker-her homeowners insurance only covered $500 of it. I asked her how she paid for it, and she said “oh my husband just wrote a check”. I almost instantly panicked. If this had happened to me I would be totally screwed!! I don’t have $500 saved let alone $5,000. So this last week has been a frenzy of me revistiting my finances and my spending habits because a change has to happen if I am going to survive in this house. So while I had planned to buy all new appliances at the end of the year (the ones I have work, but they aren’t “pretty”) I will be saving every dollar, quarter, nickel and penny I can get my hands on — because as an “adult” I have to learn to do better with my money and be prepared for that worst case scenario. I don’t want to be the one looking at shiny new appliances floating around the kitchen because a pipe burst and I could not get it fixed because I spent all my money on the floating applicances! Stay home, kick off your shoes, sleep late, watch the soaps, and eat the food that’s already in your fridge. Oh yeah..and spend some time looking for a better job!

  9. I totally agree that you should take the vacation. Not only is it important to be a responsible adult – but your well being is immensely important as well. We all need to take a breather from time to time, and in a different, calming environment. As you said – you only have to worry about feeding yourself, so go forth my child!

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