the next 50 needs more downtime

  The meditative labyrinth at   Travassa   in Austin, Texas -- October 2012.

The meditative labyrinth at Travassa in Austin, Texas -- October 2012.

It's July, which is my birth month -- and this year is a big one, I'm turning 50!  Because I swim in a gene pool shared by long livers (three of my grandparents lived past 95, and one lived until 102!), I figure I'm only halfway done.  So to celebrate my birthday, I've decided that for every day for the first two weeks of this month, I'm going to share images and words representing what I hope the next 50 years will have more of.  Time to say it and claim it, by gum.  And maybe, if what I say resonates with you, you'll  be inspired to get more of these things for your next 50 years, too.


Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

~  John Lubbock


And so for my final wish for the next 50 years, I'm hoping that there's more downtime.  It's not because I'm lazy.  The fact is, I am horrible at downtime.  Every time I go away on a holiday, for example, I work.  When I was still practicing law, I worked on our honeymoon.  And since I began working for myself, I'm even worse.  I say that I won't work when we leave, but the truth is that I check email every day, even if I don't answer it (but who wants to come back to a huge inbox?).  I promise myself that I won't publish anything on the blog, but invariably I do.  And I do all of this even though I believe in the power of rest.  I think there's something to just powering down and idling for a while.  I suspect that doing so would result in a sudden spark and surge or creativity.  (And it's not just me:  Stefan Sagmeister thinks so, too.)

So, more downtime.  And in the vein of practicing what I preach, today I'm headed off with my family for some serious downtime in the form of a family vacation.  In fact, I'm not taking my laptop with me ... and I'm not even taking my big camera with me.  (I know, what?)  I'm traveling really light, and the only real cargo that's in my bag is that stack of books I mentioned yesterday.  And while I'm gone -- and then, until August, actually -- I'm not going to publish anything new here on Chookooloonks.  Because celebrating my 50th birthday with some well-earned downtime seems like exactly what I should be doing.

So with that, happy July, friends.  I'll still be posting on Instagram during this time (because Instagram is just fun), so you can keep up with what we're doing there.  (Also, if you missed any of the fourteen things I want more of in the next 50 years, you can find them all here.)  For now, I'll miss you guys.  Have a great month.  See you back here in August!