I'm calling it: it's summer

Brooklyn Heights, Monday, June 17, 2019.

Brooklyn Heights, Monday, June 17, 2019.

On Monday, I got back from the second of my less-than-24-hour trips for a speaking gig in a week. And with that, I’m officially calling it: it’s summer.

It’s not that I’m not planning any more trips — in fact, I have one coming up this weekend, and another at the end of July — but for now, any foreseeable trips are with family and visiting friends. I have no speaking gigs until the fall, and while my coaching practice is in full swing (are we working together yet? Because we really, really should), I’m seriously contemplating taking August off from coaching as well.

This is a risky thing to do, of course — as an entrepreneur, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid — but I am a staunch believer in taking time off. Like, I’m evangelical about it. Cultures differ across the world, of course, but in my experience, in no country is time off considered such a negative as in the United States. In fact, being overextended is almost revered. “I’m swamped,” we stress, when friends ask how we’re doing. “I’m just so wiped.” And some of this even say this with a hint of pride.

This is poppycock.

Never, in the history of time, has any human operated at optimum — been their most productive, their most present, their most dedicated, their most caring, their most attentive — when they’re exhausted. Never. If we’re going to be good workers, good partners, good parents, good people, it’s mandatory that we rest. In fact, this is why many employers include time off as part of their compensation — because they need employees at optimum.

And yet, I can’t tell you how many times I have to convince clients to take their time off. And I get it: in the past, I had a hard time taking time off as well. Time off can feel lazy. Or self-indulgent. Or selfish. But here’s the truth: if you want to be your best, you absolutely, positively, have to rest. It is non-negotiable.

And so: given that it is now officially summer (so say I), let this be your official reminder to schedule some rest over the next few months. Open your calendar, look for a few days, or a long weekend (or even longer!) and schedule some time to shut down from work, and turn on some time to be creative: get outside and play. Read books. Play music. Connect with friends. Do the things you love to do for fun.

I certainly plan to.*

* For the record — I have no intention of disappearing from Chookooloonks — in fact, you might even see me more. Life has been so busy, I’ve not photographed and blogged as much as I’d like, and I’ve got some travel to some beautiful places planned this summer. Also, the Make Light Show is coming back for summer break — and my hope is that for the episodes I share this summer, you’ll be inspired to rest and relax. So stay tuned — there are tons of images and stories to come. Because stories and images are how I decompress.

Soundtrack: Summer breeze, as performed by Jason Mraz