Getting away is a necessity

A vacation is a luxury which I denied myself for a very long time. A work-a-holic with roots which go way back in my DNA, it was as if my job defined who I was. Looking back, it makes me a little sad but it does no good to have regrets. It was what it was and can’t be changed now.
I was always grateful that I could at least take my children with me on some assignments and therefore didn’t feel that I was slighting them that much.
And yes, those days were a blessing but our jobs do not define who were are as people. A job is just what we do for a living. Sadly, I know quite a few who have let the “prestige” or whatever you want to call it, of their jobs go to their head and if they were to no longer have the job, they would most likely have a meltdown. It is as if they would not exist anymore without that job title.
I don’t feel I ever let myself get an inflated ego over a job title but I did let the job define me at one time. God showed me I am defined by who I am in Him, not a job.
Last week I took the first full week of vacation that I have had in four years. I did not even take a whole week off when I broke my wrists; but was in the office doing what I could. I do not like obligating other people with work that I should be doing. And that’s the major reason I was a work-a-holic. There was work to be done which I needed to do and was responsible for it, so I had to do it so no one else would feel overloaded.
The trouble was I overloaded myself because other people could have done some of that work. I took myself too seriously. When I did take time off I would worry that this or that would not get done, or about the mistakes that might be made and not caught by anyone. It was a vicious cycle because I could not even enjoy a day off.
Thank the Lord those days are over. I learned the benefit of taking time off and I learned that even if I might have done things differently or mistakes were made, the paper is going to get out. I am just appreciative for staff stepping up and getting it done. So thank you Kristi and Renee for making sure the newspaper got out on time. Renee actually only fills in when needed but knows what to do from top to bottom and having her there made Kristi feel more confident I’m sure.
We traveled to north Georgia where it was 10-15 degrees cooler and enjoyed ourselves. We forgot to bring the computer and so when I was asked to edit something, I learned it is nearly impossible, at least for me, to do it on my phone. Getting a break from the computer was actually nice, as was not checking the phone regularly since there were places we did not have service. I managed to keep up my exercise routine of at least 45 minutes a day though walking up the mountains was very intense. My knees bothered me so much that we would drive to the lake and walk around it because the terrain was easier on me.
I was a little worried about the whitewater rafting trip we had talked about but since neither of us had ever done it before, I really wanted to try. Though it was a six-hour trip on the Chattooga River, it did not seem that long. Actually the walk up the steep trail to and from was the worst part for me.
We had a wonderful guide named Paula, and were on the trip with about 40 young people and chaperones on a camping trip from their church in Texas. As the only ones not part of the group, we were given a little more attention and were allowed to go down the middle of the major rapid when others had to go around.
I even jumped into the one rapid on a stop the group made which turned out not to be such a great idea as I jumped in sideways. It was fine and fun but I did scrape my backside on one of the rocks. I can check it off my bucket list but I want to do it again. In fact, if I could retire to northeast Georgia, I would like to become one of the tour guides. And no I am not too old, as one of them was several years older than me!
The river was down because of a lack of rain and I am sure when it is at a normal level, it would be even more fun, if that is possible.
We took our furbaby, Roxie, with us. She was determined she was going and would not be left at home. As soon as David started hooking up the camper and left the truck door open, she jumped in and was not getting out. I think she enjoyed the trip as much as we did though she did give us a scare.
She is not used to the high mountains and on one of our walking trips, she decided to go off on her own and explore. When we called her, she came running and took a flying leap from the six foot drop to the road. We were sure that she had broken a leg but thank God, she only had scratches and road burn on one leg. She shook it off and kept on walking. I had already told David before we knew she was okay that I would stay with her while he went back to the truck because we couldn’t carry her all the way back. Hopefully, she learned that she cannot fly and that jumping off a mountain is not a good thing.
It’s always good to get back home after a vacation, but catching up with laundry, etc. and at work makes you wonder sometimes if it was worth it. I can assure you that it is always worth it. Blessings to you.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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