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Aug 03 2013

Last Day of Vacation

vacation

There is something bittersweet about the last day of a vacation. The morning dawns and there is a certain pressure to make it really count. The timer begins as you roll out of bed and you immediately start counting down to over. Being type A can really be a bummer sometimes.

How do you relax harder? How do you accomplish “more” in a format that is all about “less”?

First of all, take a breath. There is no scorecard on your vacation. The definition of a successful vacation is when you leave it feeling more relaxed then when you entered it. If you are anything like me, it takes me about two days to turn off. I get twitchy about whether I have voice mails, I worry about people not getting my out of office email and I basically labor under the assumption that the business world will grind to a complete halt if I am not involved.

Guess what? It doesn’t! My own brand of narcissism puts me in the center of a universe that stops its rotation when I look away. It usually takes me a day or two to come to terms with the fact that I am not needed nearly as badly as I think I am. There is then a three hour period of hurt feelings before vacation finally starts.

Nice! Time for a nap after all those emotional and mental gymnastics…

Of course, now I have blown two days…only five left.

Day three is usually dedicated to doing as little as possible. Lounging on the beach, lazing by the pool, going out to eat. No time-table and no schedule. Casting aside the calendar is a really healthy thing and if I have done it correctly, I don’t even know what day it is!

As the end approaches the tension increases. I am really resisting using the phrase “finish line” right now. This is not a race.

Unless you are an extreme vacationer (zip-liners and Disneyphiles, you know who you are!) much of success in a vacation is about remembering what you are there to do. If you are radically shifting your mentality for the last day you may have missed the point.

Half of the reason you go away for a vacation is to be removed from the constant reminder of the tedium of day in, day out.

vacation

For me, relaxation is about surf and sea and the glorious white noise that the water makes. That may not be your thing, but it doesn’t matter. Most of this is about your mind set and realizing that a vacation is not a competition.

So, my advice for you is to quit trying to make your vacation suit your day-to-day life. Tear up the scorecard, dangle your feet in the water and let the last day be measured not at all.

Tell me about your idea of the perfect vacation and how you can turn your brain off and climb off the corporate treadmill for a week!

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