I think this is my 12th year...
For the last 12 Christmas, I have always taken vacation from few days before Christmas up until the New Year. I don't think we ever went away during those times but it was a time for a break and some spending time with the family and friends.
Not this year... I have originally filed a vacation from the 23rd through the New Year but my project was in the middle of mess...
My project manager never directly asked me if I can cancel my vacation and work but I knew better that my team needed me. Two people were already on vacation so we were short staffed to begin with and something big happened on 22nd, which raised a red alert to our team. So I ended up working all day on 23rd and 24th... I have never in my life worked on those 2 days up until now.
For this reason, I got into a fight with my wife... she was upset that I was considering my work as higher priority than my family. She does have a good point.
However, if I was a full time employee for a corporate business then I would not feel this obligated but I'm a consultant and have always been for last 12 years.
Our customers pay big bucks (not to me but to my company) for consultants for any one or more of the following reasons:
1. to solve/fix business problems that they can't solve/fix
2. to gain the expertise that they don't have in their employees
3. to fill the working hours that they themselves don't want to work
I feel that it is my commitment and dedication to all that I do has a lot to do with where I am today (of course, with God's grace as well). Instead of complaining, I should also be thankful that I have a job that keeps me busy as there are still many jobless people out there. I didn't lose 2 days of my vacation days since I can use them next year or get paid for it. It's not like we had a plan to go away and the trip got canceled but I ended up working 2 additional days from home while playing with the kids here and there so it wasn't that bad.
Let's try to look at the positive sides and be thankful for many things that we take for granted. It will make your day much brighter rather than unhappy and grumpy