Daily Blog Email
Thursday, July 30th, my wife Susie and I left Nashville for our 2015 “vacation,” which consisted of me speaking at a conference in Peoria, IL, a couple of days in Fort Wayne, IN, a day at the Indianapolis Zoo, and about four days in Chicago.
It was a whirlwind of a vacation, but we both thoroughly enjoyed our much needed time away, and the time we had with friends and family was refreshing. The highlight for me was probably the Cubs game on Thursday night. Here’s a picture from our seats in the bleachers as the San Francisco Giants took batting practice:
Everything about vacation was awesome, but getting to Wrigley is always special.
Here are three things I learned while on vacation:
Shocker, right? But seriously, when I was on vacation, I was reminded of my minisculity in the grand scheme of work and life. Sure, I understand, the Lord has a purpose for me and knows the intricacies of how I might use the gifts he’s given me to show and share the gospel. At the same time, it is humbling and relieving to be reminded of how small of a role I truly play.
Americans take a horrifically small amount of vacation compared to the rest of the world, and while some of that is undoubtedly due to overwork, a good portion of it could be attributed to our idea that our business, organization, ministry, or otherwise would fall apart if we left the office.
The world goes on without me, and I am thankful vacation reminds me of this.
It’s tough, especially when you work in social media and blogging like I do, to get away from the “office.” Life goes on on the Internet even when you’re on vacation, which can make unplugging tough.
When I’m on vacation, I’m pretty good about not checking email unless I want to check it here or there. But, I never turn my email notifications off on vacation—I just ignore them.
This time around, though, I turned email notifications off, so I had to go into my Mail app to see any email. This was the best decision I’ve ever made on vacation. I still had the freedom to check email on occasion if I wanted with a minute to kill here or there, but it was kept from invading my vacation on its terms.
Turning off email notifications allows you to check email on your terms, not someone else’s. This is how life, not just vacation, was meant to be lived, and while I have turned email notifications back on for the time being, I may turn them off again soon.
I usually do pretty well making time for a weekly “rest” Sabbath. Often, this is on Saturdays, as I try to spend Sunday evenings getting ready for the next week of schoolwork, etc. Saturdays are when I attempt to do no school or work tasks. Though, I admit, I do struggle with maintaining a “rest” Sabbath in certain times of year, primarily toward the end of a school semester.
Throughout July, I was finishing up two summer classes in my master’s program, doing two different contract work projects, writing for this blog three times a week, and a number of other random tasks. Between the mini-vacation over the Fourth of July and the end of the school semester July 31, I was really starting to feel burnt out. I needed time off the grid. Badly.
This is why I am not only in favor of a weekly Sabbath, but a yearly, or twice-yearly “Sabbath” of sorts. This is easy for me. I take a “vacation” or “Sabbath” of sorts at the end of each school semester. I don’t take time off of work necessarily, but I do try to disengage my mind as much as possible outside of work and make intentional time for rest and relaxation. This is nothing less than required for me as I juggle full time work, full time school, contract work, this blog, and other such tasks.
Vacation this past week reminded me that the Sabbath was, indeed, made for man, and it is very good.
I’m happy to be back in the saddle at work, here on the blog, and in school starting next week. Thanks for sticking around the blog. I hope to keep writing some helpful things here and there.