What defines a good day for you? For me, if I can say, “wow, I got a lot done today,” then it was a good day. So when we decided to do “nothing” for our second anniversary last weekend, I became restless by the thought. At first.
Since oh, say, mid 2008, I’ve been running around like a mad woman, adapting to the new rules, working smarter, working harder, working just to make it work. I look back at pre-2008 when business was easy, clients were spending money, they were referring other clients, and I was spending money.
I’d be booking travel to somewhere fabulous and romantic. We’d be rushing to pack, to catch a flight, rushing to have fun and relax.
Now, everything has changed. Adapting has been challenging, and manic, yet if I stop and think about it and stop feeling sorry for myself, I’m actually happy to rid my life and my business of the excess. Life just seems to be simplifying.
My husband and I are both self-employed and nurturing our businesses out of a tough economy. It is just not possible to take off on a getaway. When we made the decision to stay still I decided to be OK with it.
We live in the mountains after all. When I lived in Seattle I would have rented the house I live in now for a vacation and felt like I had died and gone to heaven. So why am I so anxious to escape it? Because I need a change of scenery. Because I’m restless, and because I have a travel bucket list and need to cross some of the items off. The solution: what are the things you have never done in your own town or city because given the time to do them, you’d be out of town?
We made our list: (yes, I still had to make a list, I couldn’t let it TOTALLY be. baby steps)
- Mountain bike to Lake Colburn
- Kayak the Pack River
- And we planned our meals (that’s right. I made a second list), and shopped beforehand so we had everything we needed.
And we went on vacation in our own house. I refuse. absolutely refuse to use the current buzzword. You know what I”m talking about.
- No chores
- No phones
- No computers
- No news
- The only reason the TV went on was to watch The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. (really good!!!!)
Just like I am in business, I adapted to living smarter.
We stopped at Pack River General store, where I had never been and packed lunches in our kayaks that we rented from Outdoor Experience.
The second I pushed off the shore onto the stillness of the river, I felt everything plummet; heart rate, blood pressure, sensors. I honestly don’t think I can remember being so still, or so in the present. We paddled some, we floated a lot, and let the river take us. When do you do that? When do you just go with the flow, the path of least resistance? I spend so much time fighting gravity, climbing mountains, starting a business instead of staying in my job, aspiring….. striving for more.
As for the the brain, I let that flow too. With no stimuli to distract other than beautiful scenery, the creativity runneth over. We talked, and not talked. We planned and not planned.
We got back to the car, went home, made grilled pizza and margaritas and sat on our deck and I had never felt so refreshed and excited to get back to the business of running like a mad woman and fighting gravity.
When training for a marathon, it is important to take a rest day, all the more reason to do so when trying to take over the world.[ssba]
Steve McKee says
Awesome. And inspiring. And convicting to boot. Thanks for the reminder.
Steve! thank you. Coming from you, that means a lot to me.
Well said Lisa — you are poetic.
Last year on our anniversary we made reservations at a fancy restaurant and thought we would get dressed up and spend a big evening out. Instead we looked out the door at the calm waters and setting sun… and took a 4 hour ride in the boat — just peace and quiet and a heavenly sunset. A simple omelet for dinner. Was one of the best days of the past 5 years!
Scott Farrell says
Boy did I need this! Thanks, Lisa. Really powerful advice for all of us who struggle with the whole work/life balance thing.
Tawnie Sleep says
You are amazing!
I love you for so many reasons.
You are so real and don”t pretend to be anybody but “you”. You have such a gift and know how to connect with life and all the people in it.
Thank you for reminding us that the
“simple life” is in our own back yard!
Tawnie, I could give you a huge hug for that. thanks for making my day!!!
Trisha Miller says
Such a good reminder! This is something that I struggle with too – as do many entrepreneurs – we get so wrapped up in nurturing our business that we neglect ourselves. Even when our job is something that we love to do, if we don’t make time to relax, have fun, and spend time with our loved ones and friends, over time our job becomes less of something we love and more of something we resent – it starts to feel like ‘work’, not our passion.
Lately I’ve been making an effort to stay away from my computer on weekends…..it doesn’t always work, but I’m trying! 🙂
Hi Trisha, I try too to stay away from the computer. the iphone is the where the real addiction lies. : ) Thanks for your comments.