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Monday, August 29, 2016

What My Summer Vacation Taught Me

Summer is one of my favorite times of year. I love all the seasons, but there’s something about summer that makes it extra special. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of it...thinking back to childhood when school let out and you had 3 WHOLE MONTHS of freedom, swimming, riding bikes, ice cream treats, and of course, the family summer vacation.

I loved it all as a kid, but as an adult, I’ve come to treasure this time of year even more, and especially the vacation part. I mean, who doesn’t love a vacation? But for me, it’s become so much more than enjoying a new locale, oohing and ahhing over scenery, or finding the perfect souvenir.

Vacation is my mental respite. It’s quite literally an application of the brakes on my life. Vacation is a balm to my soul.

Don’t get me wrong. Voice over is my life. I love what I do, and I make a decent living at it. Of course, I am extremely dedicated and work very hard to continually build and maintain my business. This often means long hours in the studio, recording and editing and making sure I can deliver the best quality product to my clients. It’s exhilarating yet stressful. Fun but not easy.

Naturally, it’s nice to step away every so often and slow down and unwind. This year, I made a special point of truly disconnecting during my time away. It’s second nature to stay connected nowadays, what with smart phones enabling us to be available 100% of the time.

But this year, I said no. And for the first time since I was a kid eating ice cream cones and riding in my parents’ old car down a dusty road, I felt truly liberated.

Each day of vacation, I woke up feeling invigorated. I felt purposeful, but without a to-do list a mile long. I watched the sunrise, I went on walks, I ate delicious foods, I took naps - and I make a conscientious effort to be truly present in each of those simple acts.

I can tell you, without a doubt, that doing so was a vacation game-changer for me. I have never felt so refreshed and recharged, or so complete.

And I learned a valuable lesson, too. The key is in being present. That’s what changed it for me. Quite simply, I was just there. I removed the distractions, I focused my attention where I wanted, and I was present. It’s amazing how much this can promote peace within, and it’s something that I am going to apply to my life from this point forward. Sure, I know there will be times where I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed, but I’m going to look back to my summer vacation, and remember how I felt. I know that I can use what I learned this summer to help me be the best that I can be in all areas of my life, both personally and professionally. 

One suggestion though, make sure you alert your clients and potential clients that you'll be unavailable for a short while before you decide to take off!

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