In France we are very lucky to have 5 or 6 weeks vacation. I work hard all year and with technology, I find I am rarely disconnected from work… checking emails early in the morning or before going to bed, preparing a presentation on the weekend…. the barrier between work / home is blurred.
For most of the year, I do not mind that much. I love my job, I run a business unit, am responsible for clients and manage a big team, so staying connected is what I am paid to do.
However, for three weeks a year, I disconnect. I do not check email (though work knows how to reach me if need be), I don’t wear a watch, nor do I wear make up. These three weeks in the summer are the moment for me to rid my body of all the built up stress and tension, and I am a better person, a better boss and a better employee for taking this break. And I don’t feel guilty at all.
Week 1 I usually spend getting caught up on my rest. Seriously, I go to bed at 10 p.m., up at 7 and take one or two naps a day. Week 2 I am feeling much better physically and emotionally, and week 3 I feel I can really take advantage of my vacation. If you have never taken three weeks off, try it.
Here is what has been going on this week :
1. Very little cooking. Garbage salads are high on the agenda. Anything in the fridge, throw it onto a plate.
2. Exercise. I always vacation where there are fitness classes or bike / walking trails and paths. I have been too tired to run everyday, but am getting some kind of exercise in. Walking, running, step class, LesMills Body Balance…
3. Reading / sudoku. Books, magazines or doing soduko. My concentration comes back and I can actually sit down and read a few chapters ! Rare during the rest of the year.
4. Family. Perfect time to connect with my girls and husband.
5. Very little technology. And if the phone rings, I don’t answer. I will listen to messages at the end of the day.
6. Leisure walks.
The next couple weeks will probably be pretty much the same. We might do some sightseeing, we might not. Depends on my mood.
And that’s what I wait a year for.
To take my time, to do what I want, when I want, with whom I want.
My definition of vacation.
What do you like to do on vacation ? Are you a planner or do you prefer to play it by ear ?
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