Vacayfrence: On Rest, Overcoming Vacation Guilt, and Learning a TON about Aging Services

I’ve been staying on St. Simon’s Island this week and attending the Annual Georgia Gerontology Society Conference on Jekyll Island on Monday, Tuesday and this morning. 

I’ve learned a TON about aging services and best practices; all of which is translatable to my own work at the church and which I will be sharing with my congregation as I have opportunities to do so. 

But, I also have rested a little bit, and come to the conclusion that I have to start taking my vacation time seriously. A trusted and seasoned minister friend assured me today that vacation guilt is a thing, but then encouraged me to give the gift of presence that I give to others, to myself. 

I tried. After the first session today, I went to the ocean. I stood and let the waves crash over my feet; at one point I was standing in the surf nearly up to my waist. For a moment I was present, feeling like I was standing inside a painting. I let the waves crash into me and wash some of my vacation guilt out to see. 

But then all the reasons I should be back home, back at work, not relaxing at the ocean crept into my mind. I waded deeper into the surf until I was able to let that go and be present. Just present. 

And then my mom and I had the adventure of all adventures exploring Jekyll. We went to the nature center and to a few marshes. We had lunch, a nap, went cruising on St. Simons and ended the day with ice cream at the lighthouse. 

I had a great day today. I will follow up with my learnings and such later, but for tonight, I’m working on letting go, being enough, being worth the time for rest and renewal, and being committed to taking care of self. 

A good friend challenged me today to schedule 2 vacations: to put them in my calendar and report back when I had done it. 

Because I have a people pleasing complex, I don’t generally take time away because I’m always trying to prove myself. 

I think people who consider themselves expendable often feel the need to earn approval and work to deserve those things that others seem able to easily embrace. 

This conference at the beach, and a new self care accountability partnership with some seminary friends of mine are spring boarding a quest in learning to value myself. 

Ocean on Jekyll

A Right Whale at the Nature Center. GA’s only whale

Lunch at Barbara Jean’s by the pier 

Bread basket at BJ’s: jalapeño corn bread, pumpkin bread, wheat roll

Check out the pastor- a woman! 

A live oak

The Wesley Memorial

Sea Turtle ice cream. Calm down, it’s just salted caramel and chocolate! 

Me and my mom 🙂 

That’s my name, don’t wear it out. 

St. Simon’s Lighthouse 



  1. gerald padgett

    Sara this is great-ministered to my senior adult heart.Look forward to what the future holds for you in gerontology. Your Mama did a good job mentoring you all these years. (You certainly favor her). Keep Scott Blvd Baptist going!

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