Is it still a vacation if you don’t notice you’re on vacation?

I don’t think I’m a workaholic, I fear I am. The really frustrating thing about it is I’m not proud of the fact or writing about it with a sense of false modesty. I genuinely have come to realize I need to recalibrate my approach to life. Actually, I need to get one. A life that is. Something with social activities that don’t involve publishing 24/7. I love publishing. I love being an editor and a writer, but both are very consuming and isolating. It’s time I started seeing other people after hours. Some sort of open relationship.

So I’m on vacation this week, but only from one of my jobs. It’s a halfcation. I got up the same time I always do, checked work email like I always do, wrote work emails like I always do, spoke with one author and two agents, and realized I’m not really getting into the swing of things of being on vacation. And it’s not even 10am yet. My Blackberry is always on and always at my side. The first thing I do when I wake up is check email, and it’s the last thing I do at night before I go to bed. Work has become my life. Work is life, life is work.

If anyone has any ideas on how to unplug, unwind, tune out, and otherwise relax I’m all ears…unless I’m working.

  1. arcticghost

    Pack up stuff and go to a coffee shop, even for a couple of hours.

    Turn the Blackberry off, it has an off button, and put it elsewhere (…unless you go somewhere, of course, then put it in your pocket for emergencies :))

    Take a break from the writing and go to a museum or the zoo or somewhere you’ve not been before; explore a little, NYC is a big city. Edith might like to go too 🙂 Thing is, break up the writing sessions with something relaxing, different,and fun … ie, NOT work.

    Turn off the wireless on your computer (the phone should already be off, right) and only turn it on once or twice a day.

    If you have to do a work related thing, limit your time to only a half hour to an hour, then put anything work related aside or in a box or drawer and out of your sight.

    Treat yourself to something special that isn’t part of the norm.

    • admin

      Turn…off…Blackberry…does not compute 🙂 You’re right. All your suggestions are entirely sensible and practical. How I’m supposed to do any of them is a completely different story, but it does give me something to work with, thanks!

  2. wundy04

    invite the absurd. instead of turning off the blackberry, just hire a midget to run your blackberry from here on out.

    every city has at least one midget. except des moines. no midgets there.

    or just read about the absurd to unwind. vonnegut does wonders.

    • admin

      Well there goes my reason to visit Des Moines. Maybe I can get an imp like in Pratchett’s Disc World.

      I did enjoy Slaughter House 5 in high school and haven’t read it since then.

      Good ideas all, thanks!

  3. pinkgalagirl

    I concur with the previous suggestions. Make sure you get OUT once a day- call up a friend who makes you feel relaxed and make plans- that way you can’t “forget” to go out or lose track of time. Get outside before the weather turns too cold to enjoy it and the only piece of technology you need is your phone- but turn it off and only turn it on if you need to use it to make a phone call, etc. Good luck- happy relaxing!

    • admin

      I can see a pattern here, and it’s making sense. I can’t believe how terrifying it is to turn of my Blackberry. As ridiculous as it sounds, I think that if I turn it off it’ll be like turning off a pacemaker. I’ve convinced myself that I need this thing to live. I need to be connected at all times. I know I’m not alone in this so there’s a little comfort in sharing the misery, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

      Honestly, I’d rather go cliff diving right now than turn of my Blackberry, but to labor an analogy, I’m going to take the plunge!


  4. deve

    Just do what I did….join a service that really SUX. Though I just spent several hours driving through ‘the void’ still frantically checking for reception and those emails I just KNEW were accruing – all whilst frantically dodging logging trucks. Not recommended.

    Stupid Voidaphone.


    • admin

      What an unfortunate but effective strategy. I think eating healthy and losing weight is going to be a thousand times easier than weaning myself off my Blackberry, but if I get desperate enough I will consider your plan, minus the logging trucks. They sound dangerous!


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