I almost feel it most officers specifically find it hard to take leave because of their busy work life in the Army. I remember a Captain said to me today, “why is it that so many people believe that we will lose this war if they leave their desk and their work life for one minute” and I reminisced in the time when I finally congratulated myself for taking leave rather than feel guilty.Correct me if I’m wrong, but most Type A personalities feel that their work ethic is the drive for their company or their force, and without them the working wheel will fall apart. I personally felt this way as a Platoon Leader…I was nervous to take leave or go TDY because I was convinced that I would come back to a Platoon in shambles. Slightly narcissistic, yes, but in my mind this was nonetheless true. In reality, it was not the truth.

A peaceful hike over Lani Kai in Oahu, Hawaii…the way I spend my leave

If you haven’t noticed, I had taken hiatus from writing posts for over a week now, not by choice, but because my mind and body were vacationing. For many months I believed that leaving my Platoon for two months to play All Army and Armed Forces Volleyball was a detriment to my team (meaning the Platoon); that I was doing them an injustice and leaving them in the dust. Day in and day out my coworkers made me feel like I was taking a paid vacation I didn’t deserve and that I was “shamming” from my real job. I left my Platoon for an amazing experience feeling rather defeated than excited and that honestly disappointed me. Once gone, I learned that I should never allow my coworkers to make me feel so terrible about investing time in ME and the things that I LOVE to do.

Coming back from TDY was terribly hard, probably because I knew I would have to face reality and bring back my hard, work driven demeanor. When I got back to the company, all of my Platoon was gone on TDY for schools and I would be alone for two weeks. Instead of deciding to ride my time behind a computer doing meaningless work but feeling a duty to stay in my workplace to show dedication, I stood up for my spiritual self and asked for a week of leave.

Now we come to my week hiatus. I spent last week basking in the beauty of Oahu, Hawaii on a trip planned last minute and off the cuff. I will never regretting seeking time for myself even though, naturally I came back to a bunch of coworkers who berated my leave time.

Moral of the story, vacationing is a priceless necessity for the body and the mind to relax from the stress and mundane-ness of day to day work activities. The spiritual self needs time to renew itself every once and while and regain stamina to continue more of the fight at work. So many officers find it hard to say goodbye to the workplace to take leave, but most of them need to let go and understand that their time away is time well spent. Trust your coworkers to pick up the slack that you left. In the Army and Military community, there is always someone who knows some part of your job, and you shouldn’t be scared that “leaving your desk for a minute” will jeopardize the hard work you have done before.

Learn to take in fresh air, and enjoy a relaxing vacation. If you are reading this and already running down ideas in your mind then you are definitely WELL OVERDUE!

Sorry for the hiatus…back and ready for action to support the GIRLS IN GREEN!

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