I’m on vacation.
Sorry I’m late this week, but to the four or five readers that actually pay attention to this space, I have now the time-and my wife has the money and a time share-for me to participate in this offering. I am beyond blessed. But I’m not sure what I’ve vacated. I’m enjoying myself, I’m relaxing, but in the back of my head, I’m sometimes wonder if it’s OK that I even be here.
I trying to lose that perspective. Because, nearly all of my life, I’ve never thought vacations were needed. Mostly, I thought they were a waste of time and money.
If I ever really felt one was necessary, I’d use the emotional litmus test question that most people raising a family use: “Do I need a divorce, or just a vacation, and which one is cheaper?” I worked a great deal, or tried to put in as many billable hours as possible. I had a wife and five children to take care of, so I felt it was irresponsible to take days off. Plus, I was neither a particularly good father or husband, so I was pretty sure that my family could do without being in closed quarters with me for an extended period of time.
And, as is the case with many of you, what I did became my identity. For years I received really good feedback from my employer and then from my clients. In time, my favorite place in the world became my office. It was difficult to pry me out of there. A weekend here and there was about all I would allow myself, and then it was back to work, a place where I could see the cause-and-effect relationship between my efforts, my successes, my bills being paid and a little savings being accrued. I felt that a vacation interrupted this process. In fact, when clients tended to take time off from their weekly counseling appointments-like during the Christmas season-I’d take that time and hang in my office, just to have time for myself. The familiar environment sans clients lulled me into thinking that was a normal, even pedestrian use of my time.
But in looking back, I needed a vacation to separate myself from my stresses that came with the job and the release that I required to be objective, calm, and at ease in both my decisions and my levels of tension that, in part, inherent in any job or profession. I never did that. And now that I am being asked to join a lovely woman on vacation at least once a year, I am stunned at the effects it has on my physical well being and my emotional state of mind.
I’m a better, calmer person after I have a vacation. I never thought I’d say this, let alone let somebody else see it in print.
I’m supposed to know this stuff. Stress reduction, time management, even crisis intervention are states I’m familiar in managing. Managing, that is, for somebody else. I have coached and counseled people into believing that a vacation is one of the best investments of time and money for their emotional and physical welfare, end of story, no excuses.
But when it came to following my own advice…well, let’s put it this way: Life would’ve have worked out exponentially better in a few really important ways if I’d have given myself permission to not just take time off, but to get away-far away-from my job.
A vacation is the from the Greek meaning, “to be empty.” In short, to be without the consciousness that inhabits stress.
It is our responsibility to empty ourselves from the worry, stress, anxiety and impatience that inhabits our lives when we work too much, too long, without a break or interruption. This happens to all of us, every single one.
We have to equip ourselves with a plan to “empty” our presence from our place of work for a little while-preferably every week but at least one long absence per year-where our environment is different, our visions changed, and the road back to calm is cleared from the impediment of our ego. What is in front of us now will be the same in a week. Leaving makes us better prepared to address whatever comes our way. We’re calmer, we’re happier, and we reset ourselves anew to this precious life.
Don’t lose the days to worry, to the urgency that our sense of control reinforces. Get a vacation and reset yourself. See who you are when you’re not at work.
Life is waiting for you to be yourself again.
By entrusting us with your feelings, we help you take steps that you see necessary to begin and put forth the energy to make the needed change.
Now notice something: Trust in a coach, mentor, or guide helps you see what's in front of you. We see a Coach for Your Heart a little like an emotional Sherpa, somebody that helps you climb your mountain by pointing out where to best step along the path.
Offices in San Diego and Denver, but will travel to meet onsite anywhere in the United States and the World.