Use that PTO

Use that PTO

Summer is almost over. Four months until Christmas. Daylight savings is around the corner. Ready to leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark?

Anyone else triggered?! It CAN’T be just me! These are the lovely things people like to start saying around this time of year and although none of it is bad, dang it!, do these phrases trigger me! 

We were recently having some of these phrases brought into our happy summer-sphere (I won’t name names here ;) but I finally just belted out, “well then, what are you waiting for! Use that PTO!”. And use that PTO we did. We didn’t have anything special planned. We didn’t go far out of town. We didn’t even spluge on staycation purchases. We simply took a break, and wow, did our family need it. We needed time to simply be together without the overhead stress of dumpster fires at work or daycare payments or demanding schedules. It was in a word or two; simple & refreshing.

Which got me thinking. Why is it so hard for some of us to use our PTO? Because we don’t think we deserve a break? Because it’s so precious and rare to have accumulated that we want to use it for the perfect reason? Because we are scared to not have it when we really need it? Because we are worried we’ll fall behind? Because we WILL fall behind? Because we think we’ll be seen as ‘weak’ or ‘having bad work ethic’? Because those GenXr’s will tell us we don’t prioritze work like they do? 

Simply put, yes to all of the above. 

In my past decade of full-time work, I’ve felt all of the above. Every year, my husband and I would squirrel away our limited PTO days for a jet out to Las Vegas or the like. But after we’d use it, we’d feel even more depleted. We’d worked so hard to save time to spend time getting more tired. We never really rested or reset. Then the snow would fall. We’d have a good week of PTO saved for the holidays, and BAM! Stomach flu. Virus. Bronchitis. All our hard earned PTO down the drain spent recovering. 

This might not be your experience, but it was ours.

This year we finally looked at each other and said “enough”. We used our PTO for a reset. We used it as quiet time together. And in doing so, we made lovely end fo the summer memories. A long stay up at our cabin, with no need for a plan to return home. An impromptu pizza party with dear friends. A midweek lunch at a new barbecue place in town. And my favorite, lego nights with our kids.

We were able to walk back into our routines with a fresh mind, and a clear appreciation for both our life, and our ability to rest when we needed it. So, this is my long winded reminder to use your PTO. You might have a wedding or a trip to save it for… but if you have any extra, I suggest using them to rest and reset. Do what feels light. Do what feels safe. Do what feels restorative. And do these things with no guilt. You do not need to do anything to deserve rest. You are worthy of it by simply being human. 

I’ve said it and I’ll say it again, Rest is the new hustle.

Peace friends.


Carrianne Nackers

Artist/Founder of The Happy Apricot

Pro tip! Sign up for The Happy Newsletter (in the footer on the left) and you'll be the first to hear about new products, new blog posts and receive free CalmLines wallpaper for your phones! Join me in finding inner peace, won't you? 

Back to blog