You Need a Vacation

Apple Podcast Spotify Google Podcast

Join the Money Matters Email List

Receive email alerts any time a new podcast episode is released!


You Need a Vacation 

Sometimes there are podcast episodes that I put together that may be more for me than for listeners. Although, I’m sure that there are some of you that need to hear this episode. Or maybe there is someone that you know that needs this episode. The title is, “You need a vacation: Why you can’t afford NOT to take a vacation.” One of the goals of this podcast is to provide insight that can help you make better stewardship decisions. Although we primarily talk about the management of money, we occasionally venture into talking about the management of time. So I just came back from a week of vacation and realize that there are others besides me that desperately need to hear this. Your happiness, your marriages, and your effectiveness in the workplace may be at stake. Let me define what I mean by vacation: I’m specifically referring to vacating your home, that is leaving to go somewhere. There is a very important place for staycations, but today I want to focus on what I would call a true vacation. I want to look first all the reasons why we delay or even skip vacations and provide some reasons why we should regularly take vacation despite those challenges.  So let’s dive into the common objections for not taking vacation.

Objection #1: it’s not worth the rush on the front end. I totally get this objection, and it’s true.  Isn’t it amazing that when preparing to take some vacation time you tend to notice dozens of things that you suddenly want to accomplish before you leave town? As you are packing clothes, you may suddenly notice what disarray your closet is in. You might say to yourself, “It sure would be nice if I cleaned some of these clothes out that I don’t wear anymore.” Or perhaps you grab some gear to take with you from the garage and notice it’s been months since you cleaned it out and you decide surely you have time to knock that out before you leave. It’s so easy to get distracted when preparing to leave. But the before vacation rush doesn’t just affect things on the home front – it includes trying to tie up all the loose ends at work. You probably want to finish that project you’ve been working on for months, close the loop on that client customer issue you’ve been researching, and maybe even seal that new deal that’s been in the works for several weeks. The inconvenient truth we must confront is that we will not be able to tie up all the loose ends before we go on vacation. In our personal lives and work lives, there is always something pending. That is the nature of work.  Accepting this on the front end and celebrating the things you are able to finish before leaving rather than mourning the things that were left undone is about the best we can do. The reality is more times than not we hop in the car with our families to head wherever we are going and everyone is in a bad mood. We all get snippy with each other and wonder if it’s all worth it. 

Another complaint is that there is so much catch-up to be done on the back end. This is also true. Your email box and desk probably accumulate quite the pile while you are out. If you take a week of vacation, it feels like it will take the entire week after you return to get your bearings and figure out what needs to be done and when.

Objection #3 is that a ball will get dropped while you are out of the office. This is also a legitimate objection. Perhaps a ball won’t get dropped but maybe instead you’ll miss an opportunity that comes up. Well the truth is, this is entirely possible.

Work is too much fun to take a break. There may be very few people who say this, but they are out there. For those who love their job, vacation can actually seem like work. I know that may sound backwards, but there are certain folks who have difficulty staying still and they get bored if they are not doing something. Again, a legitimate reason to not take vacation.

So I’ve just listed 4 objections to taking vacation, and I’ve said that all of these are legitimate concerns. If that’s the case, why is it still worth it to take vacations? Well there are more benefits and here are my reasons:

We all need periodic realignment. Our minds and desires get off course in the day to day grind of work. Just like a car’s tires get out of alignment slowly over time and it’s not noticed until you get a realignment, the aggregate amount of stress we are all under is often not visible until we are out from under it. That stress may be exacerbated on the front end of vacation – but getting out from under it, even if only for a few days, allows for a realignment of priorities and mindset. And when you do come back to your mountain of work, you can work through it more effectively with a renewed mindset. One of the primary misalignments I think we suffer from is that of misplaced urgency. We can give too much urgency to things that aren’t that urgent and not enough urgency to things that are. Stepping out of the fray of day-to-day battle can help us see this misplaced urgency and allow us to look at it differently when we return from vacation. I noticed this when I got back from my vacation. My mind wasn’t as busy with the thoughts of all that I had to do. It literally felt like my mind had been cleaned. I had a greater sense of peace and purpose. That would not have happened if I would have skipped this vacation time.

Our minds and bodies need a break. If I continue with the car analogy – you simply cannot run a machine indefinitely without giving it a break. Small business owners in particular often never give their minds a break. The wheels are always turning, whether they are at work or at home. The machine needs a break. That was the most notable takeaway for me on this vacation. I tried to clear my mind and just think about my family. I thought about fun things to do with the kids, interesting things to talk about with my wife, the beauty of the sunset, the sound of waves hitting the shore. This allowed my mind to rest. And whether we like to admit it or not, our mind needs rest periodically. Vacation is one of the few ways we can make this happen.

We need to spend quality time with family. The normal routine of life often lends itself to short conversations, distracted mindsets, and limited time together as a family. Leaving the house reduces the agenda to one simply question: “how are we going to spend our time today?” At home, you may be distracted by the responsibilities of the home, but once you leave there you can figure out what you are going to do with your time wherever you may end up. You may decide to go to the beach, go for a hike, play board games, take a bike ride, go out to eat, or cook a meal together. There are a host of things you can decide to do, but when you are on vacation you are usually doing it together. You are deepening relationships. And life is really all about investing in the relationships of those around you.

People at work need the opportunity to take up your slack. If your organization cannot operate for more than a week without you (unless you are a sole proprietor), something is wrong. By not taking vacations, you rob your teammates of being able to learn with you out of the office. Especially if you are a supervisor or executive, you need to let your people keep things moving while you are gone. This is a form of training and also reveals any gaps that you might have in that training. Trust your people to hold down the fort. Give them the opportunity to do so.

Being out of the office keeps us humble. When we return from vacation, we realized that the world was able to function without us. None of us are truly essential in the workplace. People find a way to keep things moving forward, even if we are not there. This keeps us from thinking too highly of ourselves. It prevents us from thinking we are essential for the wellbeing of the company. The act of resting during vacation also reminds us that we are human and limited, and that we need to recognize and accept those limitations.

In the Bible, we see the Sabbath principle – a rhythm or rest that is sprinkled in in the midst of our work. That rest is periodic, but consistent and meaningful. Maybe what you need most to reduce your stress is not to pull an all-nighter to make up some ground, but to take a break and leave your home. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip. So, if you haven’t planned your reset for the summer, plan it for the fall. But get it on the calendar, or it won’t happen. You owe it to your team, to your family, and to yourself. If you want to keep your machine on the road, you’ll have to take care of it.

At MBC/Foundation Bank we genuinely care about the well-being of our teammates and clients. Our purpose statement is that we exist as a tool to invest in those things that will outlive us. If you are looking to work with an organization that is looking for creative ways to invest in their teammates, clients, and communities, start your conversation with us today by visiting or exploring our website. If you’ve found this podcast helpful, we hope you’ll subscribe to it in your favorite podcast app and share it on social media. Until our next episode, God bless you.

-President Chad P. Wilson, CFP

Today’s episode of “Money Matters” was written and recorded by President Chad P. Wilson of McKenzie Banking Company / Foundation Bank on June 27, 2023. This episode does not constitute financial advice. Please consult a financial professional to discuss your specific needs. MBC/Foundation Bank is an Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC.