Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Real Talk Tuesday: You need to get out of town.

Actually, you don't have to leave. But you gotta take time off. All of us. Well, most of us.

Did you know 40% of Americans didn't take a single day off last year? I don't mean they worked 7 days a week. I mean they didn't take a single vacation day off from their normal work week. Not one! I can't even imagine functioning all year like that but yet, it happens.

We work more than ever.
We take on more than ever.
We commit to as many extras as possible.
And we get away less than ever.

And yet so often we feel like we're still not enough (linked to not doing enough).


Vacation time needs to make a comeback. 

You know what vacation does for you?

  • presses pause & reset
  • gives your mind (and soul) the space to rest
  • unchains you from that desk/office/computer/phone/laundry pile
  • creates space for fun
  • connects you with your family/friends/self (whoever you vacay with)
  • allows space to reflect, evaluate, pay attention and adjust life rhythms
  • refreshes you to return to life and work

None of that is scientifically proven. Those are all my own statements. But I am pretty sure they are all true. I know they are for me.

I don't think 'Vacation' means two weeks in Hawaii. Vacation is whatever you want it to be. An extended trip to the local Embassy Suites (I love their breakfast), a road trip, a spunky Airbnb stay, a state/country you've never been too, your favorite city to explore, etc.

Life needs a rhythm of multiple types of 'Vacations' (aside from a weekly day off of work).

  1.  They Day trip:
    Solo adventure? A quick getaway with your favorite travel buddy? A long day in a hammock at the park with a picnic? What is refreshing to you? Carve out a day (or half a day) every month to do that thing!
  2. The weekend away:
    1-3 nights. Maybe it is right down the street. Maybe it's a couple hours drive to a nearby destination. Maybe it is camping in the backyard. Maybe it is a staycation with a trip to the nail salon, the pool and some delicious restaurants nearby. Whatever it is, a few of these are crucial - like 1 per quarter! This doesn't have to be costly - get creative! You gotta plan for it or it'll probably never happen!
  3. VACAY!
    A week? Two weeks? Different seasons of life come with different margins. I can't say what is possible or good for you but I will say, "Take a vacation." Use that paid time off, save up, plan ahead. Life is full and busy. We need to press pause on all our 'stuff' and enjoy space. And we need an extended time for this. Time to decompress. Time to forget about emails. Time to slow our minds down. Time to simply be. Time to enjoy something new. 
We're not awesome at a lot of things in life/marriage but we've been pretty good about time away. We love the mountains so that encourages time away. We love visiting friends who live out of town. We love camping. And we've also created intentional rhythms that allow time away. We've save monthly for adventures. We sacrifice budget that could go to other areas so we can splurge a little. We look ahead and put adventures on the calendar. Maybe you'd rather stay home... awesome! Plan some intentional weekends.

Anyway, we've never taken a summer vacation. We've taken a spring road trip, a few 2 week trips to Kenya and some weekend trips but this summer we are taking a two week vacation! WHAT? I am pumped. Charles is SO pumped. We need this. We're longing for this. We've planned for this. We're saving for this. Sure, we'll take a blow from it (I won't get paid while we're away). But it'll be worth it.  I can't wait.

I already feel a little nervous. Nervous about not working. Nervous about not updating my business' social media. Nervous about disconnecting. All the reasons why we need this. This is fun but this is also a discipline that life needs. As a society, we're always connected, doing, responding, available. And we need some time to not be.

Other pros of vacation (from my perspective):
  • Memory making. Stuff to look back on. Stuff to pass onto future generations. Stuff that makes life richer.
  • Meeting new people. I love meeting/observing people in new cities/places. It is fun and fascinating. 
  • Food. Coffee. Beer. We will always be looking for tasty new local spots, delicious craft coffee and local breweries. 
  • Nature. Places to hike, swim, take beautiful photos, soak up beauty.
  • Rest. Naps, laying out (yes, even me), sleeping in.
  • Not working.
Ok... So, tell me!
How do you vacation? How do you press reset?
What's the best vacation you've ever taken?
Are you good at this or does this area need some work?



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