"While I was a database administrator, I went on a few cruises and several backpacking trips over the eight years I was in the role. There was typically no way to communicate during the backpacking trips, but while on the cruise, I would communicate via email (painfully slow!) every day with the junior DBA. It was difficult for me to relax because I couldn’t stop thinking about the servers and database."
Kathi, I to can relate to your experience. Even though I have been retired for a number of years now, I still play with SQL Server and SQL almost daily. And while I do, I usually listen to music of many varieties. I find that there are two effects on my life.
First, I often dream about the things I'm working on, and sometimes even come up with next steps for what I'm trying to do. And then I also find that many, many things I may read, or things said in conversations will cause me to remember the melody of some jazz I've been listening to, or the words of a song that I may not have heard for years.
I think it may be good that we think long and often about db's and servers. I can only hope it helps keep our mental capacities in tact. After all, with what that new Alzheimers drug costs annually, I could buy myself lots of new computers and software, or maybe a new truck with the money.
I've concluded that time off does not have to mean that we don't think about our work and projects and careers, but that it is a period that removes at least some of the pressure of our day-to-day lives.
One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.