I’ve been on vacation for two weeks for the first time starting the company with Dominic, back in 2010.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
1.) Being on vacation is BUSY
Look, my life was this “get up, work 12-15 hours, and go to bed. Repeat.” The list of “Things I’m going to do when I get a free week….” grew by reams. In the last week alone I went to two art openings , a poetry-reading, visited four friends in the city (and yes, some I haven’t seen in years, even though they’re only 5 miles away), caught up with almost all my wedding duties, did-the-laundry (whew) and swung over a few evenings to John Brown Smokehouse, my favorite BBQ place. I was worried that a vacation would mean me sitting around all day, doing nothing. Just the opposite!
2.) Being on vacation is normal.
While I’m still busy, I’m moving MUCH more slowly. And I think moving slow is what it’s like to be normal. It’s about a quarter-speed to what I’m used to. Any business owner (or highly-active manager) knows what I’m talking about. At work, the morning will vanish in 2 cups of coffee. On vacation, an hour goes by in a slow, thundering, drum. It was/is jarring . But some perks – I actually remember things because there’s time to reflect and remember things. I can hold a conversation, on a set topic and just be present for that time/space. My mind isn’t wandering. I’m able to focus and not multi-task.
In fact, I learned that multi-tasking is the false prophet of efficiency – we’re just accomplishing less on more activities than ever. It’s a valuable lesson I’m taking back with me to the office.
3.) I’m learning something new.
I realized I hadn’t *learned* anything of substance for over three years. What I mean, yes, “Life is a great teacher…” etc whatever – I learned a lot starting/growing a business for 3 years. But I’m talking about reading a new book, going to see new art, researching Byzantine theologians from the 8th century – you know, something non-work. In general, since I graduated from Baruch College I haven’t taken a real academic course or learned much of classic studies. Going on vacation actually let me have time to pursue hobbies! I’m actually reading new non-work books, and doing non-work things. It’s amazing how much of one’s relationships with friends and family centered around work.
Anyone else out there taken a vacation for the first time, in a LONG time? Love to hear your insights!