In this Work Life Play Decade Anniversary episode, I explore why we work on our vacations (it’s not good for us BTW) and how to get a real rest.
I’m proud to share these little gems with you. I know they will help you live more fully in your adventure, explore a well-lived life and find more meaning in your daily experience.
A decade ago
I began podcasting in 2012 with borrowed equipment, no training, with a simple idea “I wanted to explore.”
I experimented with one tiny step, then the next. Back then, there was no map to How to Podcast. With trust and boldness, I booked my first two guests before I knew how to record or publish an episode. I should have shared this with my guests. Ha!
Compelled to explore beyond the map of my life experiences, expand my mind and heart, and curate stories of good humans. That’s as far as I knew. With hindsight’s wisdom, I borrow Parker Palmer’s explanation for “Why did you do it?” “This is something I can’t NOT do, for reasons I’m unable to explain to anyone else and don’t fully understand myself, but that are nonetheless compelling.”
You’re listening to a decade of exploration. The fruits are beyond just inspiration, but transformation for myself and many of you. Enjoy, experiment, and keep going. It’s worth it.
Episode: Working Vacations: Why we do it and how to stop
I received a desperate email that read, "I'm in leadership, working crazy hours, working through my vacation last week instead of resting, and the story goes on."
The gravitational pull is to always be connected, always available, and always responding- even on vacation. I've done it too-taken calls on the beach while the kids swam, squeezed in a few emails before breakfast, dialed into a "quick" call during dinner, returning seven days later, tired and frustrated.
Why do we struggle to step away, trusting that others can and will find their path to good outcomes?
Reminds me of the children's book, "If You Give A Pig a Pancake" A cautionary tale of saying yes once, the Pig never relents from her requests.
Excerpt from the book
If you give a pig a pancake, she'll want some syrup to go with it.
Pig: May I please have some syrup?
When she gets all sticky, she'll want to take a bath.
Pig: May I please have some bubbles and a toy?
When you give her your rubber duck, she'll feel homesick.
Book by Laura Numeroff
Your working vacation and The Pig
Sticking with our Pig and a pancake analogy, here's the version of the story you're familiar with from your most recent holiday break. The new requests are like the Pig-never fully satisfied.
(Sunday night email) If you can join the call on Tuesday morning at 630am, I promise it will be a quick one.
(Monday text) After the call, May I please also receive a written summary and go ahead and put it into a few PPT pages?
(Tuesday email & text) There is an RFP we're working on that just came in-quick deadline. I would love for you to answer just a few questions on pages 12-28. Do you mind? It would be super helpful-its due before you return from holiday.
(Wednesday email) May I please have only two more hours of your attention, during that family dinner you'd planned, the RFP client has a Q&A-the only time everyone is available. You can make it, right?
-You get the picture. It's not a vacation. It's what my friend calls "PTO-Pretend Time Off".
"If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will."
-Greg McKeown, Essentialism
Here's my advice for how to enable real rest
In the modern world, rest is vital to replenish the nutrients in our creative engines. Prioritize your rest and recovery. Operationalize your values with better choices. Take responsibility and do your creative best with your own life. In your absence, trust that others will step up and in to solve the challenges of the day.
For your next holiday, borrow my out-of-office auto-responder. Here's the one I use, (Thanks Well-being thought leader Jen Fisher for the inspiration)
"I will be out of the office on vacation with my family beginning Monday, July 3rd, returning July 17th. I and my devices will be resting, replenishing my creative engine. I look forward to responding upon my return."
Out of Office autoresponder
Recover your life and enable yourself a real rest.
You can do this.
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