Whenever I go on vacation anywhere, I keep my iPhone/iPad/Macbook nearby so that I can at least keep up with emails. Doesn't matter where in the world I am... If there is a WiFi connect or a 3G network to tap into, you can bet I will be responding to emails - DESPITE what my out of office message says.
A lot of my job nowadays involves "problem solving." And I love doing that. And I have an "itchy trigger finger" just thinking about emails with concerns and issues piling up in my inbox.
Why let it sit when I can blast off a quick email that may be able to provide some additional insight?
No matter what, though... I can honestly say I will never ever be one of those people who can go on vacation and fully clock out. Yes, I recognize this could be bad. But I am not particularly motivated to change it anytime soon.
There was an epiphany The Husband and I had yesterday about our vacation habits, which may lead to some changes that will require me to actually not be able to log in to emails while on "vacation."
The Husband and I have been coming to Providenciales for the past six years. We have been five times in these past six years. We only skipped coming the year we spent our vacation budget to go to Australia for a wedding. In those five trips, we have developed patterns...
- We wake up, eat breakfast in our condo.
- We go to the beach all morning, slathered in high SPF sunblock and sit under an umbrella reading.
- The Husband walks along the beach. I used to... But it's the same beach as always, and have no desire to be out in the Sun from underneath the umbrella.
- We eat lunch at the cafe by the pool.
- The afternoon is spent by the pool, sitting under an umbrella, reading.
- Dinner is either at the cafe or in the condo.
- We fall asleep early.
All the while, I am logged in via some Apple gadget to Internet and email... Blissfully staying connected while in the tropics.
But last night, I made a comment that made us both realize that we are kind of bored of this place...
"Why don't you ever want to go for a walk on the beach?" The Husband asked.
"Ugh," I respond. "It's the same beach as ever. Nothing changes. I'd rather be under an umbrella reading."
"Why don't you ever go into the water?" he continues with his line of questioning.
"Ugh," I respond. "You know I don't like to get my ears wet. I'm fine with just dipping my toes in."
"Do you even like coming here?" he asks.
"I like spending time with you," I said. "And you came to Florida with me and my family in January. So I am happy to come here with you."
"Um," he says. "I only wanted to come here because I thought you liked coming here."
"I like coming here fine," I said. "But I am kind of bored of this place at this point."
"Shit," he says. "This is just like the 'Muppets' movie, isn't it?"
I look at him and laugh.
"Yup, dude. I think it is."
For reference, last November The Husband and I were rushing to get to the theater in Toronto's Dundas Square so we could catch a showing of the new Muppets movie. It wasn't until after the movie, when we were asking each other what the other thought that we realized neither one of us actually wanted to see the movie. We, for some reason, were convinced it was the other person who wanted to see it... And we were being good spouses by doing them a favor.
I feel like there is a lesson in here about "active listening" that we need to recognize.
The plan is for us to take a vacation later this year in which we both are able to actually not be attached to our communication devices.
We'll pass this vacation test with a high score yet!