I’m so excited. This is the day I program my contact places with my “on vacation!” message, and switch gears for two weeks.
The hubby and I will be jetting off to a family vacation, and I can barely contain my joy in imagining all it will be for us — we have planned for it to happen. When you’re an empty nester, and your children are crafting their own lives in cities an ocean’s distance, plus some, away from you, family vacations become SACRED, and as little as a long weekend taken together becomes priceless emotional currency: It sustains you, and inspires you all those days in between until the next time you’re together. In a word, it’s the value of ‘OHANA in strengthening mode.
I’m letting you know because I’ll be stepping away from this blog and everything else during our vacationSTRETCH (more about that in a moment) — thus, it’s a great time to visit New Here? or deep dive the archives if you’ve wondered about missing anything.
Reading time thus satisfied, I also want to encourage you to do the same thing: Grab hold of some vacation time! Maybe not now, maybe not June, but choose your dates, and do lay the groundwork. I know I just railed at you about making plans if worthwhile work is to happen, however, there is time and place for each, work and vacation. Sometimes, time away for a head clearing, Nānā i ke kumu-spirited sabbatical is what the best plan needs.
It’ll be summer soon! Claim it, and make it yours!
…exactly what it sounds like. When you vacation, stretch it out into all the good it can possibly be for you. Turn it into a mini sabbatical, where you can invest in your joy completely because you’ve made it happen that way. You can devote your full attentions to the people you’re with, and to the places you’re at, even if at home for a staycation, because you’ve made sure you’re all-in and are vacation ready, and vacation intentional.
I used to be a pretty lousy vacation-taker. It’s appalling to me now, but I was one of those managers who would work up to midnight or later the day before my vacation was to start, wasting the first day or two of it because all I wanted to do was catch more sleep, and then think about whatever time I had left.
No surprise, those vacations weren’t much of a break. They were usually chock full of stuff planned for my family with nothing designed for me. As a result, vacation success was hit and miss for all of us.
If that sounds familiar to you, it’s time to change your ways. Don’t ever squander a single day of your vacation again, and S-T-R-E-T-C-H out the goodness!
The more fun you have, the more fun your family will have, guaranteed, because all you do is radiate your joy. Joy is infectious: A happy you is a good contagion for all the people who surround you, and the stuffing of your vacation itinerary becomes quite serendipitous: You make good no matter where you are, and no matter what you happen to be doing.
I did learn my lesson. Now, I start turning off the rest of the world nearly a week before my vacation starts. I don’t turn it back on until I’m ready to, usually another few days after I’ve returned home, switching gears in my own good time so it becomes a reset and not a decompression or letdown.
Life by design can be yours too
Stretching it out is a great strategy for all the good in your life.
I love my work, yet I’m now on a 20-hour work week, and often less, so I can fit in more of what I call my “Other Days.” As I once wrote about creative structure on Talking Story:
Creative Structure in the values-speak of Managing with Aloha:
…Work Days are for Ho‘ohana, Kuleana and Kūlia i ka nu‘u
…Weekends are for ‘Ohana, Mālama and Mahalo
…Other Days are for ‘Imi ola, ‘Ike loa and Nānā i ke kumu
In addition, I’ve been able to take a 4-week sabbatical annually since purposely designing it into my business models back in 2004. My family, friends, and MWA clients know it as Ho‘omaha, the holiday hiatus given to all in my ‘Ohana in Business: We close for 2 weeks in December, and another 2 weeks in January. It now feels very natural and right to us, and best of all, it’s totally guilt-free; it feels smart, and it’s become quite strategic.
I know we’re fortunate, now taking our Ho‘omaha holidays as matter-of-course as we do. Not fortunate in that we have them, for we designed our work this way, and we make them happen; we’re fortunate in who we are as a team supporting them, with a business mindset within our 20-hour work week that sustains our model and our mission. Amazing how “Providence conspires” when you leave that door open to the possibility.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, happily somewhere else
There are two emotions I purposely banish from my life: Guilt and regret.
No more coulda/ shoulda/ woulda.
No more “we can’t.” It’s been replaced by “let’s do this!”
If you want a life by your own design too, vacations with your ‘Ohana are a fabulous place to start, because you feel your spirit stretching in the way vacations are shared with the people you love.
Gain vacationSTRETCH, turn off from the rest of the world, and make your vacation sacred.
You know you want to!
I know you can.