I’ve just returned from a wonderful eight-day vacation to the beach.
I had a mental countdown to said vacation starting a few weeks prior. I don’t think my body and mind realized how badly this break was needed until then. Work had been extremely busy. It was in fact, so ridiculous that I had to keep repeating little reminders to myself, such as, “Lauren, it’s okay, you only have nine more days of work” and so on.
I love working. When I was fourteen and fifteen, I got a summer job in an office where my mom worked, putting in the 8am-4pm hours Monday thru Friday. I filed paperwork, ran to the mailroom and basically did anything else that a young teen couldn’t drastically mess up. I got my first ‘real’ job working at Dunkin Donuts when I was sixteen, waking up way earlier than I wanted to on the weekends. Eventually, (well, after two years of not having a single day to sleep in or rest) I switched directions and ended up working in retail. With both Dunkin and my retail work, I can say I was never bored.
I think it’s so easy for me to be a funeral director for a few reasons. First, I love talking to people and I love helping others. This job allows me to do both. Second, I never know what the day will bring which keeps me interested. I have experienced so many different emotions throughout my career, but boredom has never been one of them. I never wanted an 8am-4pm and I definitely got what I wanted.
That being said, breaks are still needed. I began to mentally check out about a week before my vacation. I couldn’t help it. I had gone too strong for too long and my body couldn’t go on at the same speed. So on day one I did what any funeral director would do. I answered a few calls from work and quickly fixed a few problems (and gave some encouragement) over the phone. Day two, three and four I kept checking my answering service and emails, even though I was not on call. I live with my phone attached to my hand, so it is difficult to stop such a habit, no matter how badly you want to. Eventually, I learned to let go and relax, only to find that my time away was over quicker than I would have liked it to be.
I spend so much of my time worrying about and helping other people, that I sometimes don’t know how to spend time on myself. It is not a crime, to be selfish. It is a necessity in this business if you want to be happy and healthy. You need to know when to take care of yourself and when to turn off the phone. I am constantly finding new ways to relax and unwind, but guys, I have to tell you; listening to the waves roll in and out really does wonders.