Can you believe it’s 2018? I can’t. Another brand new year complete with a million and three new opportunities and a maybe the recollection of a lesson or two learned the year before.
One of the first tasks should be to plan a vacation. Begin thinking about your vacation – ‘your’ not ‘a’ – while you still can.
I know . . . we’ve barely concluded one holiday and now I’m suggesting you consider another. Believe me, now is the best time. Knowing there will be a break, will help propel you through the upcoming year, especially if it’s fun and ‘just for you. If you’re like me and have to work at having fun, then . . . start practicing.
Think about the type of vacation you need. Not the one that your family wants. Do not, plan to find time during a family vacation where you spend time caring for all their needs in a different place with less support. That rarely works out in your favor. Plan your break before your calendar becomes so full that you don’t have the opportunity to carve out five minutes for yourself. Has there ever been a year when you regretted not thinking about building in some breaks earlier – when you had time? So, do it now – while you can.
Dare to consider something just for you. If that includes a spouse or a friend, wonderful. If it doesn’t – that’s okay too. My girlfriends are planning something that includes ‘private cabana boys’ in a tropical climate with more books than they could possibly read in two weeks. It sounds lovely, but I never would have thought of it. I’m too pragmatic. I need help when it comes to extravagant (or extensive for that matter) relaxation. I’m not suggesting you dart over to the nearest travel sight and book a package immediately. I’m suggesting that you set yourself as a priority this year. Just start thinking about it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help constructing your best vacation plan. I know that I don’t normally think up the ideas I like best – except when I’m working. But, work is exactly what we all need a break from; especially if we love what we do. When people love what they do, they tend to immerse themselves in that environment all the time; think about it 24 hours a day; wake up in the night thinking about it; work on weekends and holidays – because they love working at it and it doesn’t feel like work. If this sounds like you then you likely need a vacation as much as any of us. If you work and have a family, my guess is you need several vacations.
I don’t believe this to be a selfish perspective. A very good friend of mine’s mother explained her vacations this way when her children were school-aged:
“Your job is to go to school every day. You get vacations from school over holidays and during the summer. My job is to take care of you. So I take a vacation from that work once in a while, not from you.”
This reasoning made perfect sense and was rarely sulked over again because it was logical. Not only that, this concept let her children know that caring for them was hard work. In return, they had more respect for her efforts on their behalf.
Believe me. You’ll be far more productive when you’re rested and relaxed than you were distracted and stressed. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You take your laptop on vacation and end up with an entire week of solitude to think about and complete all the tasks you’ve been meaning to get done but cannot because you keep getting interrupted?
If your excuse is that you cannot afford it, back up. Yes you can. You may not be able to afford a private cabana boy, but you can afford a few hours solitude somewhere with peace and quiet. Nobody said this had to be expensive. You don’t have to go on a ’round the world adventure. You just need to get away.
You won’t be sorry.