Tag Archives | vacation

Turkey Time (actually no)

This Thanksgiving our family is near Lake Tahoe at a ski resort called Sugarbowl. The only catch is there is not enough snow for skiing. However, we are still finding things to be thankful for like the company of family and friends, playing games, and a little time in the hot tub. Thanksgiving tends to remind people to take stock of all they have. I tend to do that throughout the year and this day does make it just a touch more special.

Have taken some time for a quick post. Something special this year is that we are NOT having a turkey for dinner. We are having ham. So we spared the turkey but not the swine. Hey, a family has to eat.

While I am thinking of holidays. Here is my companies holiday greeting this year complete with a free gift of desktop downloads.

OK, back to the vacation from home and holiday time with family.

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Looking Forward…

Been working hard since my return from vacation.

Time for a little play tomorrow.

Going to see Radiohead @ Hollywood Bowl.

Find more videos like this on w.a.s.t.e. central

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Vacation Time

I am taking a vacation. Last time off was in February when I went to Mexico.

Haven’t written much on the blog—been busy with new projects.

Looking forward to rest and relaxation. Don’t do enough of that.

Will share more when I return.

Until then… take care.

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The End of May

Image of a sunset in May

Today is the first day of June and the official end to the month of May. May is a challenging month for me. My birthday is in May and I get another year older (and hopefully wiser). The school year begins its path to winding up for the year—meaning the kids, and my wife, begin to prepare for their summer vacations. I on the other hand do not get 3 months off. (Remember getting 3 months off in the summer—those were the days). And at the end of the month schedules go into the blender for a few weeks.

The end of May also signals the end of spring and the beginning of summer. So it is a period of transition for us all. There are so many things in transition in the world right now: energy issues, political issues, etc.—the list can go on for a while. For me personally, the transition happening is the beginning of summer and the change of schedules for the entire family. There is some vacation time coming up with the family and time by the pool for sure. But it always take a couple of weeks to adjust to the new schedule. There are others but that is by far the one with the most impact on personal life at this time.

What transitions are in motion as you go from May to June? From spring to summer?

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Intellect Versus Intuition, or “The Thinkaholic”

Yoda it is.

I find that I use my head way to much. What I mean is I use straight thinking, logic, and rationale as a way of navigating many things that are presented in life. The alternative to using straight up thinking/logic is to use your intuition. An example of using your intuition would be how you can do, or handle, somethings on autopilot. There is not much thinking or contemplation about such things. You have either mastered the process, or know something so well that you do not give it a second thought. Driving home while talking on a cell phone (while not always the smartest thing to do) and being able to make all the right turns, stop at all the right spots (stop signs, red lights) all the while talking to someone AND successfully get home would be a concrete example. It’s the things you don’t have to think about to get them done that I am talking about.

On the flip side I have been on the thinking side of things way too much as of late. Not that I don’t have intuition guiding me on many things, I do. I can brush my teeth while thinking of something else, do the dishes while thinking of something else. It’s just that I find a great deal of time and energy is wrapped up in ‘thinking’ about things. Most of these things involve business and career. Making decisions about what moves to make, what course of action (or inaction) will produce the desired result. This can get really tiring–I’m talking flat out exhausting. Similar to how a workaholic will get to burnout, I think (love the irony) that I have been exhibiting the tendencies of a thinkaholic and I am feeling burned out.

I need a vacation from thinking.

What about you? Have you ever felt you needed a vacation from thinking?

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Empty Talk Bubbles

Talk Bubble

Not being able to communicate clearly in conversation with people sucks. After returning from my vacation to Mexico and having some time to reflect I can say that not having basic language ability can hamper the full experience.

I travelled with a friend who is fluent in Spanish and when with him for the first 5 days it was no problem. He helped translate when I needed help. However, there was a tint of feeling like I was burdening him with my inability to converse with people. This came to full bearing when meeting his relatives who spoke no English and I speak ‘poquito’ Spanish. I know 2 handfuls of words and that is about it. Those moments with his relatives were an interesting experience. I could tell they wanted to ask me many questions. They did ask some through my friend, but they too were feeling the translator burden. We did manage to go back and forth with some basic questions, but we could not get past the superficial questions.

For the last 4 days of my trip I was solo at the beach. Now being on the beach for a few days with no obligations is a great experience. However, not having your personal translator with you takes the challenge to another level. There were long stretches of time where I was around many people, but I had no conversations with anyone. I am used to being in my office and not communicating with people for long stretches. It’s being around lots of people and not engaging with them that was a bit strange and interesting.

So what do you do? I would suggest bringing a cheap phrase book for whatever country you may be heading to if you are not conversant in the language of choice. I know that when I next return to Mexico I will have that book and I have already subscribed to a couple of the free language podcasts through iTunes.

Last thing I want on my next trip is the empty talk bubble.

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Slow Re-Start

Tortise

Well this past week was an exercise in getting back to the flow. Back to the flow of the family life—making coffee for my wife in the morning, taking kids to school, changing diapers, making bottles, getting kids to bed, watching movies with my wife. And getting back to the flow of work—turning off vacation messages on phones and email, email, email, and more email. Projects, clients, voicemails and the myriad of things that go along with running your own company all await your upon your return.

I am very glad to be back from my vacation. The vacation was great and I would like to take another break as soon  as I can. However, it is tough coming back from a vacation. Getting back on board takes time. Not the family part, I would not trade that for the world. It’s the coming back to work part. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do and it is great. However, getting coal back in the cold engine and firing up the furnace to get the train moving again is a slow process. It does take me at least one work week to get things up to speed—back on top of email, and projects too.

I took one working day to focus on one aspect. Monday was email, Tuesday was projects and their status, Wednesday was calls and appointments, Thursday was project work, and Friday was a professional development seminar.

So even though I started out the week feeling like the tortise, I ended it feeling like the hare.

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Perspective From South of the Border

Mexico

I am presently travelling abroad and writing this post from an Internet cafe near the beach in Mexico. I have been outside the U.S. for 7 days now. I have been reluctant to post while on my “vacation” but I have the time to make a brief post now.

This trip has been enlightening for mulitple reasons. It has allowed me the opportunity to see life outside the states, and see how people in another country right next door work and live. The opportunity has also given me a renewed apprectiation for the things I have in my life. My wife, my children, and my life working and living where I do. I can appreciate it all so much more with just a little time away.

I had not taken a vacation in a very long time and I think that I was feeling very bitter somehow. I was not taking time to see all the good things around me, only the negative. I would let those closest to me know about all the negative too, perhaps too much. I can see now that taking more frequent vacations, even small ones, can help with the perspective and energy one brings to everything you do. I know that next week when I do return to my “routine” that I will definitely be looking at it all with a fresh set of eyes.

I now have a renewed commitment to taking more time away from work to refresh and recharge. I knew I needed a break, I just didn´t know I needed it this bad.

When was the last time you took some time off from work or your “routine?”

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Taking Breaks Big And Small

Mexico

Something I am not good at is taking a break from work. Any type of break–5 minutes or 5 days. On a daily basis I find myself sitting at the machine for 3 hours at a stretch without getting out of the chair. Obviously this is not good. I did get a pedometer over the holidays to see just how much movement I am getting during a typical work day. Right now I am averaging over 10,000 steps a day which is not bad for a mostly sedentary desk job. On a day-to-day basis I do need to take more breaks and get up and move around. I don’t think we as humans were designed to be seated for long periods of time. To help with that I recently setup a small mac-based application called FlexTime. It is a great app that will let me program periods of time and breaks, and it will put notices up in front of me to let me know to take a break or switch gears. Not only the physical change, but the mental change of focus and attention will help as well.

Other than the day-to-day breaks are the BIG breaks–vacations. We all need vacations to help rest and recharge. Problem is in this country (US) we tend toward the workaholic side of the spectrum and take very few breaks on a daily basis and take very little vacation time when compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Then again our GNP is the highest in the world so there is a positive side to it. However, I tend to work so hard for so long that I get burned out. I have been to burnout and back several times in my career and its no fun. To help keep this at bay I recently made a decision to take a vacation that sort of landed in my lap. A friend who is going to Mexico for 10 days asked me to come along–out of the blue.

Initially my reaction was. “Well, I do have so many projects going on right now I’m not sure I can spare the time.” I told this to someone I met at a party over the weekend and he looked at me and said, “You should go on the trip. Work will always be there, a chance to go to Mexico will not.” I thought to myself, he is absolutely right. It is the advice I would give to someone else if they were telling me the story. I would say figure out how to make it happen and I am making it happen. My new passport is on the way and I leave 2 weeks from this Friday. I have never been to Mexico and I have lived a couple hundred miles north of the border for almost 15 years. Its about time I take a visit. The work will be here when I get back.

When was the last time you took a vacation or a day off?

Yeah. Exactly–too long. Make it happen. Take the opportunity when it comes, or make the opportunity now.

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Almost post move

I’ve been busy. Busy getting settled into a new office, busy with current projects, busy taking a few days off, busy with a family on summer vacation. It seems endless and it is.

My recent move into an office that is out of the house has begun to cause me to shift my focus on family, work and life. The move is proving to be a good one. It forces focus on work during the normal business day and removes the interruptions of working at home. It also stops me from working until 1am. I am finding that I have more time to spend with my children and wife, more time to read, and more time to sleep.

Overall the division of work-life and family-life for me, after 2 years of working out of a home office, is proving to show benefits just 2 weeks in. Now, I’m not discounting the power of working from a home office. It does work for some people, and who knows it may work for me again someday. For now though, with my circumstances, this is turning out to be a good move.

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