Today, I am back in the office after the longest and, quite possibly, the very best vacation of my life. On my last day of vacation, I started the day with a 90 minute restorative yoga session, followed my lots of family time, and a long relaxing drive home. When Tom asked me if I wanted to go grab a bite to eat and catch up – I enthusiastically agreed telling him I really wanted a beer. Together we sat outside at a local restaurant and I recounted my trip while we listened to the music teacher who lives above the restaurant practice with open windows. I felt (and still feel) so unbelievably peaceful that I have been wracking my brain wondering how this could be? Where are the Sunday Scaries I expected? What about all the unread emails in my inbox? What on earth happened over the past week to make me feel so wonderful? Then it hit me, for nine days (five work days and two weekends) I did two things I’ve never done before and I made a discovery so wonderful that I sprung out of bed this morning to write this.
New thing #1
For nine days I removed my work email from my phone. I put up an out of office and was completely unbothered. And while I love my job (and did open my laptop once just to peek) I didn’t need to think about work. I feel tremendously grateful for a supervisor who graciously gives me the time I need and for a team that I can count on to get the work done in my absence. I didn’t need to think about work because I trusted my team would hold it down and of course call me if you need me. And guess what? To my surprise, the world didn’t end! My buildings are still standing, students are still going to class, and all is well in the world. What happened at Bucknell was out of my control and for the first time I totally and completely relinquished that. I was on vacation.
New thing #2
For nine days I let go of my routine with reckless abandonment. If you know me at all, you know I love routine and crave a schedule. Planning and knowing what I will be doing each day gives me a great sense of security in how I operate in my daily life. So for nine days, there was no alarm to wake me up in the morning. There was no where I needed to be and nothing I needed to do. For nine days I only did what I truly felt like doing and on some days that wasn’t anything at all! On some days I felt like moving so I kayaked. On other days I felt like reading so I read. I leisurely consumed at least a dozen magazines, played a game of high stakes mini-golf, watched a magnificent sunset, learned a new card game and enjoyed time with family and friends.
I’ve never experienced such peace and relaxation in my life like I did over the past nine days. I was where I wanted to be with who I wanted to be with and it felt so good. Looking back, I have always been working and moving non-stop. Whether it was school, sports, or work even my summers were consumed with places to be and things to do. And while I traveled quite a bit this past year (Arizona in November, Florida in December, Nashville in May, and many car trips in between) none of which came close to how perfectly relaxing the past nine days were.
So now I am back in action, I feel recharged in mind and body and I am so excited for what the rest of the summer has in store. And now I ask you, if you had nine days to spend exactly how you wish, how would you spend them? And what’s holding you back from taking them? That’s the thing that’s holding you back. Hurdle that obstacle and live out those days because there is no better feeling.
With the utmost gratitude,
PS Thanks to everyone who made this past week great. Far too many to name, let alone picture.