My Self-Made Vacation Begins Now

I have been struggling to put one foot in front of the other lately. My list of projects and tasks is piling up, and every time I look at it all I want to do is have a nap. Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, I keep trying to slog ahead, ignoring that my motivation is shrivelling, my energy is dwindling, and I’m starting to resent things I usually enjoy.

I finally realized that, if I want to actually recoup energy and interest, I can no longer put off taking time off. And then all the Reasons-Why-I-Can’t started piling up: I can’t afford a vacation right now / I can’t take time off work / I already have all these commitments / I’ll be letting people down. Fortunately, eventually my coaching training kicked in and asked me to question both my assumptions and my perspectives.

Ok, I thought. Maybe I can’t go to France for a week. But there must be things that I can take vacation from. I started making a list, and with every item I added I felt more energized.

As you check it out, I invite you to ask yourself, “What do I need a vacation from?” Small or large, I bet that at least part of your self-made vacation is right here, within reach, just waiting for you to kick back with a mojito.

So, here it is: things I can and will take vacation from until September 1st:

  • Blogging.
  • My RSS Feed.
  • Twitter, Facebook, and most of the internet.
  • Making daily and weekly to-do lists.
  • Tracking how I spend my money. (An end of month total will suffice this month.)
  • Sending non-necessary emails / replying to emails that can wait.
  • Reading any list-serve or newsletter emails.
  • Beating myself up for not doing the project work I was planning to do in August.
  • Reading books for next year’s coursework.
  • Business development.
  • Planning.
  • Writing and sending my coaching-tip-of-the-week newsletter.
  • Any business-related administrative work that is non-urgent.
  • Checking email more than twice a day.
  • Writing my Monday notes to self / intentions for the week.
  • Scheduling any new social engagements. Spontaneous things – great; scheduled things – stressful.
  • Writing letters and postcards.
  • That list of phone calls that is on my white board and keeps taunting me with it’s not-yet-done-ness. I’m erasing it – now!
  • The radio. I’m going to listen inward instead.
  • A weekly assessment of all my tasks, projects, and ideas. (Yes, you may be noticing that I need a break from my usual super-organized and planning self.)
  • Trying to control my feelings. If I’m sad, lonely, tired, happy, excited, whatever, I’m just going to go with it instead of trying to figure it out.
  • Making decisions.
  • Going the extra mile.
  • Offering help.
  • Trying to be smart.
  • Trying to have it figured out.

Wow. What a relief! I’m stunned to see how many things in my average week I can write off if I choose to. Where did they all come from?

And, to round this out, here is what I choose not to take vacation from:

  • Email twice a day
  • Already scheduled coaching and work commitments
  • Social engagements I have already committed to
  • Running
  • Being an aunt and a sister
  • My volunteer gig
  • Two business projects that I’ve put a September 1st deadline on
  • Dreaming
  • Imagining

I’ll be back in September. Until then, you can find me making mojitos.


  1. Dear Laura
    You carry a very heavy load it seems, even in your holidays.
    The stuff you dropped as you left for a vacation made quite a ‘clunk’ on your posting here.

    I trust you are resting and refilling.

    All the best for the new refreshed you.