I must admit, I am terrible at taking time off. I love what I do and love to work. I know I am not alone - you may be just like me. But, our minds and bodies need to take a break. My sister and brother in-law take a month-long vacation each year. They travel to a new spot somewhere in the world and really learn the culture and experience some great things. When they come back they are refreshed and ready to go back to work and get back into their regular routine.
What if you don’t have the time or resources to do a vacation like this? Maybe even a long weekend is a real stretch for you. So how do you get away without getting away? Woody Allen is known for many things, and one is his love for New York Knicks basketball. Someone once asked him what being a big fan of the Knicks meant to him. His response was, “It is a meaningless distraction.”
I would like to change just one word of that – meaningless to meaningful. A meaningful distraction is one that brings you enjoyment and leaves you with more energy. The rest of this short article will allow you to see inside my head and the meaningful distractions I am putting in place right now.
Because I have already admitted that I stink at taking time off I have identified five “distractions” that I will begin right now taking intentional time for and putting on my calendar. These five are personal for me and I challenge you to pick a few for yourself. My meaningful distractions are:
NASCAR races – I love stock-car racing and I look forward to attending a live race or two each year. My goal after several years is to have attended a race at most every track in the country.
Family trips – I am planning to take a family trip at least every other month this year. It may be just a one day trip but it will get me away from work and bring me enjoyment and needed energy.
Cooking and grilling – I love to cook and grill so I am going to take a cooking or grilling class this year. This is going to be so much fun!!!!
Biking – As you may know, I road (pedaled) 325 miles from central Florida to Key West when I was thirty years old. While I don’t plan to do anything like that again (my butt still hurts) I do plan to get back into biking on a regular basis. Yep, it will be on my calendar.
Writing – If you knew me in high school you would be shocked. I literally cheated my way through most English and writing classes. But I love to write now and have published hundreds articles and blog posts over the years.
I encourage you to follow my lead. Find some meaningful distractions for yourself, put them on your calendar and enjoy your life.