Maybe you’re wondering why I haven’t posted in a while. The again, maybe you’re not. (If you have any sort of life whatsoever, I’m willing to bet it’s the latter.) Doesn’t matter, because I’m going to tell you anyway.
You may have noticed there were no blog posts from me last month. There’s a very good reason for that. It’s because, in true European fashion, August is when I typically indulge in a nice, long summer vacation.
Make no mistake – for me, taking a vacation is a huge sacrifice. There is the two solid weeks of 12-hour days beforehand, preparing and getting ahead on stuff that can’t easily sit for too long while I’m gone.
And of course, the inevitable game of catch-up afterward – stacks of unopened envelopes, dozens of unreturned phone calls, and literally thousands of emails.
Of course, vacations can get pretty expensive, not to mention the fact that when I don’t bill time, I don’t get paid.
Despite all this, I would never, ever consider skipping vacation. I consider vacation time a vital part of staying as productive as possible.
“Productive?” you ask. “How can not working make you more productive?”
Well, as it turns out, I’ve learned something over 25 years or so of being self-employed: only electronic gadgets get recharged from being plugged in. Human beings, on the other hand, recharge from being unplugged.
And boy oh boy, do I unplug.
For the past six years, I’ve spent my vacation pretty much the same way:
Now, I realize taking in 3,500 miles of road from the saddle of a bike is not everyone’s idea of a good time. Does this scare me sometimes? You bet it does. Does it hurt? You bet it does. Does it make me feel proud, brave, and noble? You bet it does.
I don’t think it much matters what you do on vacation, as long as it’s something you enjoy doing, and as long as it’s as totally unrelated from your everyday work life as possible. Shop. Gamble. Visit friends. Plant a garden. Climb a mountain. See some ball games. Take a self-guided tour of your favorite Florida strip clubs. Something. Anything. Just go.
I think everyone has, at one time or another, had the misfortune of knowing or working with someone who doesn’t take vacations – or even worse, someone who brings work on vacation (which is no a vacation at all, but rather what I like to call a fakecation). These people tend to be irritable, edgy, and burned out. They tend to be hard to get along with. They are hard on everyone around them, precisely because they are so damned hard on themselves.
Maybe this person is a family member. Maybe it’s a colleague. Maybe it’s your boss.
Maybe it’s you.
Anyway, it’s now September, and I’m back and rarin’ to go. I’ve got a million ideas for great new blog posts, I’m digging into some cool projects, and I’ve got a freshly-paved “learning roadmap” that should take me well into next year. And hopefully, if things go well, I’ll be starting a full-length book project soon (hush hush, that’s out little secret for now).
I missed you guys. I hope you missed me too.
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