(written on the route back and I refuse to edit)
Some people take vacations every year. I have mostly used my vacation days from work for trips back home to see the family and/or long weekends. It had been 10 years since I did the last true vacation by the definition most of us would use. I don’t say that as a complaint – I know many people never get those definitions of vacation and I’d never trade my experiences thus far
I posed the question on FB if I could go a week without my laptop. Everyone said yes. And I did. Of course, I had my phone so I did spend about 10 minutes of the week answering 3 work emails, but was mostly successful in setting that part of my life aside.
I’m extremely lucky that I love my job. I work for a company and with people that I believe in. I feel like I make a difference in the lives of the people I work with. I believe I’m good at my job. But, it was all I was doing. Wake up, check email, commute/start calls, spend 8ish hours in the office, commute, stop in for a quick dinner with mom and then home where i got back online and often put in another 2-3 hours. I needed a break to remember who the rest of me is. The non-project manager self.
So, several months ago I was conversing with a friend that we should take another trip together. She mentioned Iceland had always been on her bucket list and she’d like to go there…we agreed on over Thanksgiving (fewer days off for the same amount of time) and booked it. It was also a milestone birthday for her. Another friend decided to join. After the booking of the flight and room, it was pretty much put on the back burner. A few emails were exchanged with recommendations from others, but everyone was busy doing their own thing. Normally this would stress me out, but there were other things taking immediate priority (like the trip to India). I did make sure we got the pickup from the airport taken care of (to the Blue Lagoon!), but we literally had nothing else set. We agreed it was everyones vacation. We weren’t a family or young girls traveling together, so we could each make our trip what we wanted of it. I/we did do some research, but there was nothing that could be booked through a tourism company that I felt like I had to do to make the trip a success. What I really wanted was a chance to recharge and reconnect with myself.
I did do some of the tourist things – Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, walking to the pretty church on the hill, several great meals and so forth. And those were fantastic. Amazing even. They made for some beautiful pictures and memories of things I can say I’ve seen and done. But, let’s be real…none of my pictures are going to compete with what can be found from a simple Google Image search. No, that’s not my take away.
From my conversations with friends, new friends and strangers I was reminded of the important things to me. Laughter, meaningful conservations and taking a minute or two for myself. I need to make time for myself to walk and challenge myself for a healthier lifestyle that regularly means appreciating the outdoors. Snow, ice and darkness didn’t stop me from getting out in Iceland – why should it at home? I would also like to seek out time for deeper conversations than what was had for dinner with new and old friends. Like, why do police officers in America need to carry guns when most of the rest of the world doesn’t? I need to learn more about what can be done to make an impact. Not that these conversations can’t include my usual need for silly jokes. I also need to put some time into every day to make sure I’m in touch with where I am and taking care of myself.
Life goes so quickly. I don’t want it to be gone and no one be able to say more than “she was a good project manager.” That is part of my life, but my life is more than that.