Guilt Meet Anxiety

This year, as an early Christmas present, I gave myself a vacation. Rather than work, most likely with small amounts of productivity, in a mostly quiet office with attendance numbers dwindling by the day, I took the entire week of Thanksgiving off. Off of work anyway – cleaning, laundry, changing sheets, cooking…I don’t know how stay at home moms do it all.

As much as I’ve enjoyed being able to get my workouts in on my terms rather than squeezing them between different obligations…as much as I’m absolutely, let’s be totally honest here, LOVING living off of dry shampoo and hats…as much as I appreciate being able to watch GMA in my PJs eating breakfast…I feel guilty and anxious.

I see the emails piling up. Just because I’m not responding doesn’t mean I don’t see them. And speaking of not responding, it is taking all the energy I have in this world to ignore the emails. Am I a workaholic? No. Do I think my work is changing the face of world peace, hunger & famine, or global warming? Also no. But it is important to me. That’s who I am – right, wrong, or indifferent. Guilt meet anxiety.

That is until I was hit in the face with something simple, yet profound. No amount of guilt can solve the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future. BAM! You know sometimes the gems you scroll past on social media are actually worth backing up for.

I mulled over that saying for what seemed like eons – it was like it had been created just for me. I mean it may as well have said, Rachel no amount of your guilt can solve the fact that you aren’t at work this week and oh by the way Rachel no amount of your anxiety will change the fact that you’ll have emails piled up for next week.

Blunt AF: the only way I know how to roll.

Did it help my feelings of being away from work? Not really, but then I started to look at the broad picture. We all get feelings of guilt and anxiety from time to time, some maybe more than others. Did I do or say the right thing? Should I have said or done that?

I’m 35. Unmarried. No children. Do I feel a certain level of guilt surrounding that? You bet. Am I anxious about what that means for my future? Abso-fucking-lutely. Are either of those feelings going to do anything for me besides eat away at me slowly? Not a chance.

At the end of the day, maybe that’s what this vacation was all about, learning to let go of guilt and anxiety. It’s not easy by any means, and it will be a constant battle day in and day out, but it is an important lesson in self care. And isn’t that what vacations are built on, self care?

Well that, and turning off your email notifications.

Rachel Olszewski

A hot mess held together on a daily basis by dry shampoo and probiotics, Rachel is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up but for now is a communications professional by trade. A true Chicagoan through and through, she is an East Coast transplant trying to set down roots. Although the height of her high heels may be getting shorter, Rachel’s expectations are not getting lower and she is on a mission to change the world one person at a time.

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