I have no memory what it’s like to take a real vacation. I’ve taken trips to lots of places–Paris, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Brussels, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Rabat, Athens, Frankfort, LA, Seattle, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Turks & Caicos, and more–but vacations they were not. I took work with me wherever I went, called the office and clients, obsessed over sales quotas.
About five years ago, I paced the empty ballroom of a resort hotel as I sold my heart out to a potential client. My husband relaxed in the sun. I got the account, but was it worth it?
The work could have waited. My company would surely still be there when I returned. My employees would have been thrilled to have me out of their hair, and my husband would have been happier if I had chilled with him.
I am now determined to take a true vacation by the end of this year. Here’s how I picture it: I will go somewhere and leave my Blackberry in the room. (Maybe I’ll work my up up to actually leaving it at home). I won’t take a bit of work and I won’t call the office. I will, however, check my messages once a day and respond only to the important e-mails.
I will leave a message on my e-mail saying I’m away and to contact me if time is of the essence.