When the time came for me to leave for my three-week vacation, I felt a wave of anxiety. If I am not busting my butt and “working”, I’m not making money. Why should any feel anxiety when going to Hawaii? When I was working in the corporate world I was so excited to turn off my email notifications and board the plane. This was the first time going on vacation as my own boss. And frankly it was quite terrifying. When I launched my own business, I loved that I could have the free time I wanted to. If I wanted to work on a Sunday and take Friday off, I could. If I wanted to go on a vacation with family, I could, whenever. But as the time came, I had a mini panic attack.
I realized that our business should not be our life. Our business should be part of our life. As simple as that sounds, it is so much harder to actually implement. That constant attachment to our phones, checking emails, scrolling through Instagram (because that is actually part of our jobs!), and thinking of new blog posts to write. Our minds seriously never shut down. It’s a blessing and a curse. So once I arrived to Hawaii, I vowed to be present. Yes there were times that I ended up working, and honestly as a one women show it would be impossible to go MIA for three weeks, but I set time aside to answer emails and finish up some to do’s.
Checking out and spending time with my parents was refreshing. I was happy. I was not concentrated on booking clients so that I could pay rent; I wasn’t focusing on curating that perfect image for Instagram. I was living. Yes as corny as that sounds but it was needed. My last weekend there, my phone was mostly dead for the whole weekend and I didn’t even care. I went kayaking, swam with live sea turtles, I went for a hike and swam in waterfalls. It was perfection, and I wasn’t even thinking about my endless emails.
I know that as business owners we truly forget to take time for ourselves. We are constantly looking for what is next and not looking at what is happening now. I have heard way too many stories from women in business who are so busy that they are missing out on times with their husbands and families. If you want to take a vacation, do it. Do not feel guilty about it. Money should not determine happiness. A part of owning a business if having that freedom. Freedom to go and visit our friends who live across country. Freedom to take a two week vacation whenever we want because we don’t have a boss to tell us no. Freedom to live. We have every power to change the way we live our lives and sometimes you need a vacation to realize that. Go stick your toes in some sand, take a step back from your business, look at your life, and ask yourself are you truly happy?