It’s okay to unplug for a bit

Shawn Anderson pool.jpg

Vacation has come and gone, and now I’m back from sunny Florida and coping with the third large snowstorm in a sequence of large, messy snowstorms to hit New England. It was a well-needed getaway, but it didn’t come without guilt. Social media, blogging, volunteer obligations, work, writing—why is it that every time I pack up and head to the airport for some rest and relaxation, I also feel that touch of guiltiness and worry that I’m halting all progress and will get my momentum back.

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I thought about it a lot while I was floating in the pool, walking through Disney, dining in Epcot, riding the Tower of Terror for a second time… It’s completely 100% okay to unplug from work, my blog, and social media to take time for family, fun, and me. It’s important to recharge and rejuvenate yourself—guilt free.

I didn’t back away altogether. I checked emails a couple times (on my own terms, dammit!). I did some light Tweeting and Facebooking, and you may have noticed the huge gap in blog posts on this site. I brainstormed, and rested, and took in the sights, and swam, but the one thing I chose not to step away from was my writing and revisions.

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Instead, I chose to focus the time I did work on one project, the revisions for my middle-grade urban fantasy. I even tailored my plane and poolside reading to that genre. It helped me push the guilt aside, because I was focused on one manageable priority.

Over the week of packing and prepping prior to the trip, the week I spent in the sun, and post-vacation reentry, I discovered that I really love to write and that I need to do it every day. Platforms and work projects can often wait, organizations and work will not implode without you, and you can step back, have fun, and still be an effective and productive person.

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Whether it’s a personal day, a weekend away, or a weeklong vacation, I encourage everyone to take the time they need for their own wellbeing. I give you permission to relax, step back, and lighten up. It’s okay to unplug, have fun, and take a guilt-free vacation.  

Now it’s time to get back to work!