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After a week of being "Nashville adjacent" withFranco Valentinoand his family down in Tennessee, I am back!
...and I spentevery single day like this– in the pool, soaking up the sunshine, drinking delicious homemade cocktails and local beer, and getting overly competitive while playing pool basketball.
On top of all of that relaxation, however, I spent 30+ hours (total) driving by myself in my feisty little Jeep.
Man, oh man... was it beautiful:
I know I sound like a lunatic, willingly driving from Connecticut to Tennessee (and back again), but hear me out:
First, you haven't lived until you've driven along the Blue Ridge Mountains,"Bang a Gong" by T-Rexblasting, with your windows down and your sunroof open, as the Virginia highway sprawls in front of you.
Second, as someone who occasionally loves to force some uncomfortable self-reflection time on myself to trigger growth, there is no better place to do that than trapped in a car, where it's just you and your thoughts... and no escape.
The latter was particularly important for me this trip.
So, by the time my trip rolled around, I not only needed a break, Idesperatelyneeded that alone time in my car to reflect:
Personally, am I being as helpful and kind as possible to those I care about? Are there still people in my life I'm wasting time and energy on because I'm not willing to admit they do not treat me as I should be treated?What have I been wrong about recently? Am I living up to my own values?What do I really want out of my life and this world?
Professionally, am I doing what I love? (Spoiler, yes.) Am I really doing everything I can to betteralign our sales and marketing teams? How can I be working smarter and not harder? If I could break everything I'm doing right now and put it back together, what would I do differently? How can I be a better leader?
Taking a vacation – or even just 10 minutes to sit at our desk and purposefully pause and reflect on those questions – may feel like a luxury none of us can afford right now.Every precious second must be milked for maximum output and efficiency, right?
Wrong.As someone who had allowed herself to burnout spectacularly before finally taking a vacation, hear me when I say this:
Whether it's five minutes or five days, you owe it to yourself, your sanity, your coworkers, and your company to force yourself to rest and reflect. If you don't, your decision-making will become more reactive, your choices will become less reliable, and the quality of your work product will suffer.
Plus, you're a human being. So, give yourself the grace and the space to just be a human once in awhile.It's OK, I won't tell anybody.
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