- On March 10, 2015
I just came back from four days in Florida enjoying the warm spring sun while visiting friends and family. I had planned this get-away trip six months ago and made early reservations at phenomenally low prices.
And then one last (I hope!) winter storm intervened exactly on the day I was scheduled to fly. Forecasts for bitter cold and up to 8″ of snow. If I was going to go, I needed to re-book my flight and leave while the get-going was still good.
In retrospect, in those days prior to my trip I was sagging under the weight of work priorities. I can hardly even think straight, although I don’t realize that at the time. I am addicted to the activity and the thought of winding down for a few days sounds too irresponsible. Needing a vacation desperately, and yet feeling that I not dare disconnect lest all my work fall apart.
The looming storm put this into stark focus.
Should I take the opportunity to just cancel? No one can argue with nasty weather. I’ll save money plus I keep up my momentum on these projects.
Or change the flights and carry out my plans?
Up until about ten years ago, I probably would have used the weather as an excuse to cancel and give my priority to work.
I missed out on a lot of good times that way. I did not have a clear sense of what was really important for the long run, focusing too much on the immediate tactical objective.
As part of my ongoing journey of strengthening self-awareness and honoring my core values, it only took a few minutes of reflecting to come to a decision on what I truly valued—spending precious time with people I care about.
No matter what important work might happen while I am away, I don’t believe I will ever say:
“Oh remember that extra four hours I spent on that training worksheet and how I really cranked through that new proposal.”
I will definitely say:
“Remember that long walk on the beach where the sky was brilliant blue and we asked that man to take our picture and found out his son was also in the Army?”
“Remember that time we sat around by the pool looking through the old photo albums and figured out that Jennifer looks just like Grandma when she was younger?”
Four days in Florida connecting with my lifelong friends and close cousins?
Coming home, feeling refreshed and working through my project list with a tan and a smile?