Holiday season is getting close and so does the season for obli-cations.
Depending on where you live, in our case in a melting pot of adopted holidays, the season has just begun: Halloween, Fiestas Patrias, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, advent season and Christmas is less than eight weekends ahead of us.
I am pretty sure your calendars are marked full of plans, and then there are undoubtedly some dates that only present lightly marked in pencil.
These are the notations hesitantly marked for the not so fun part of our joyful season, the obligatory part of the vacation.
According to the Collins Urban Dictionary, an Oblications is:
A vacation scheduled or planned to allow you to fulfil some obligations, like visiting friends or family.
Thus taking up valuable vacation time, long term saved money, transit time in crowded transportation systems, only to visit the sometimes not so loved ones during the holiday season.
We give up what has felt like an entitled “real vacation”,
preferably on a deserted island, to spend with family and friends.
The peaceful quiet island versus family!
Obligation creeps in because we feel obligated to visit our family and stick to family traditions“But this is what we always do” echoes in our conscience alongsides long faces filled with disappointment. Typically not our faces though.
Consumed by a fear to disappoint literally everyone, combined with a little bit of FOMO because this year might be different?
Hope always dies last.
We then confirm the oblication and from then on receive frequent visits from the Ghosts of Christmas past.
So how do we deal with such a precious or pressure building situation?
Rule of thumb:
Don’t do it just to do others a favour.
You go because you want to.
Not because you think you owe it to anyone.
Do it for yourself because you want to.
You are not obligated to visit anyone. If taking your hard-earned annual leave will leave you in a state of resentfulness, simply said:
Sometimes it is ok to say: “ No”.
You are not a victim; You are absolutely in charge of your own time.
Where is a will there is a way or should I say away. Maybe this year can be different, indeed.
May your vacation be restful holidays and not resentful oblications!