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If Yoda can take a vacation, so can you. So can I.

If Yoda can take a vacation, so can you. So can I.

by Moyra Mackie on August 3, 2013

“Switching off.  Getting away from it all. Having a holiday. Taking a vacation.”

However you phrase it, it’s that time of year again.

Daily there are articles about Americans not taking all their vacation time, and just as many asserting what the dangers of not letting go of the office might mean.

As a small company owner, I’ve found myself justifying my constant connections with work, wherever I am in the world, as necessary to the survival of my business.

I’ve developed a habit that comforts me that I’m indispensable

Until my indispensability was challenged by infrastructure.  Or rather the lack of it.

It happened last summer when I rented a cottage right on the beach in southern Spain.

The picture of that hammock might give you an inkling of just how lovely it was.

Except for the utter lack of mobile phone reception. And a dial up internet connection that could charitably be described as “relaxed”. Which made me anything but.

I was forcibly unplugged

But after the first day or so of withdrawal symptoms, I began to:

  • Spend more time with my teenage sons
  • Talk more with my husband
  • Join in with beach games and mad kayaking expeditions and re-learn the rules of Gin Rummy

In short, my lack of connections forced me to reconnect with those that were right in front of me

I started to laugh more, notice the sound and smell of the sea, spot the changes in weather, have FUN.

And I spent hours in that hammock.

Daydreaming, napping, watching families on the beach, worrying about my boys out at sea.

There was lots of time for reading and reflection

When I get a book in my hand, I have always found it hard to put down. So I raced through coaching books, trashy paperbacks, newly-released bestsellers, old tomes of poetry.

But despite how great that was last year, this year I would have fallen back to my more comfortable habit.

I would have chosen work above renewal.

If it hadn’t been for the sight of Yoda in a deckchair

The picture appeared in my Facebook feed, from one of my favourite sites, Street Art in Germany.

In a very balanced continental way this incredibly popular site announced they’d be taking a vacation.

And if it’s good enough for Yoda, it’s good enough for me

I have no idea if there is a hammock where I’m headed this year, but I know I will do all of those things with my family that I enjoyed last year.

I’ve also got a pile of books ready to go.

In addition to the trashy paperbacks, a number of people I really respect have encouraged me to pack the following:

Steering by Starlight championed by John Stepper

Change recommended by loads of people, but especially a fellow coach and mentor Richard Smith

The Chimp Paradox recommended by my partner in crime Paul Jenkins

The Healing Code a favourite of  the best Feng Shui HR Practitioner there is, Lisa Kurkowski.

I’m also going to admit I’m not indispensable

I’m going to join Yoda and take a break from writing this blog.

There are other fabulous coaches – although that might not be on their business cards – who have agreed to post something here each week.

They may be wearing other coloured hats, but they’ve all got something interesting to say.

In the meantime, if you have suggestions for any other book I should read while I’m gone, please let me know.

I wish you a great August and hope you find a hammock where you can be unplugged and you can be renewed.

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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