Ever had one of those "A-ha" moments? For me it was a moment where I realized I don't always walk the talk or maybe it's more accurate to simply say practice what I preach. Well, here's my recent "A-ha" moment - for the first time in seven years I just took a real vacation, going completely off the grid for ten days.
In the last three and a half years since I started SCU, I've probably written a dozen or more blog posts or articles for Shutter Magazine where I've hit the subject of recognizing burn-out and taking time to step away from the business. I've told all of you how important it is to take a break, but I rarely follow my own advice.
Welcome to Sheridan, Montana! We just spent a week there, fly-fishing with our son and daughter-in-law and it was just what I needed, but not without a little pre-trip preparation.
- To start, about three weeks before leaving I brought an assistant on board. He's locally based, knows the Internet and social media and while this is an experiment to start, he's doing a great job. I've got great expectations.
- Next, I filled the pipeline a little with some great content pieces all scheduled to run while I was gone.
- Most important on the list was shutting off my phone - I shut off cellular service on my mail and made a promise to Sheila I'd only respond to urgent texts.
- We never turned on the TV or watched the news while we were gone! We were completely out of touch and loved it.
- Besides fishing and hiking gear, I wanted a camera that would cover everything without taking a camera bag. If you're not familiar with the LUMIX FZ300, check it out. Weighing in at only 1 1/2 pounds, with a 25-600mm lens and F2.8 Leica lens, it was the perfect addition to capture the memories.
Sheridan, Montana is about 90 minutes south west of Bozeman and an hour south of Butte. It's a beautiful drive and Ruby Valley Lodge is a three bedroom cabin within a ten minute drive of some of the finest trout streams in Montana. We also took a couple of afternoons off to visit Butte and hike a trail or two in Beaverhead National Forest. If you read Shutter Magazine, I did my video for my October online article from the doorway of the Dumas Brothel Museum, the oldest brothel in American. It went 90+ years before being shut down in 1982. A great location to talk about marketing and promotion! LOL
Two major highlights came with flying in a couple days early. Our first night we caught up to good friends, Duncan and Donna MacNab for dinner in Bozeman. Besides being an outstanding photographer, Duncan put together the snowmobile trips into Yellowstone each winter for ten years, which I've shared a few times in Throwback Thursday posts. The next night it was dinner with Dan and Tanya Cox, who also live in Bozeman. Dan is a Panasonic Luminary and we've worked together for almost two years.
Nothing beats starting a vacation with quality time with good friends!
Another lesson - I will NEVER let that much time go by again without taking a longer break. Up until this trip, we've done long weekends, even a week with friends in Ohio once, but every morning I spent the first 2-3 hours of the day on line, taking care of email, posting and tweeting. I rarely ever took a real break.
it’s how you spend the time.
So, on this beautiful Sunday, finally absent of Tropical Storm Hermine here in Florida, I'm wishing all of you a perfect holiday weekend. Take the time for those eleven second hugs with loved ones most important to you. and put work away - everything will be where you left it on Tuesday morning!
Wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Labor Day weekend! And, to my overseas readers who don't have a long weekend - all the same wishes for a safe and relaxing Sunday.