We've just returned to the states and the vacation is almost over, sort of. One more day off tomorrow, then working remotely on Wednesday (probably start at Starbucks, maybe a park or something, eventually showing up at building 2 for a can't-miss meeting), then off again Thursday for my daughter's birthday and then back at work for real on Friday.
As I think back to past vacations, I remember in the late 90's going to Disneyland with friends. I remember pausing in the Indiana Jones queue, where it goes underground, holding my Blackberry aloft to get a signal to send or receive a message, and then running to catch up with my friends, being ever mindful of where the next hole in the ceiling is so that I can hope to get a signal for whatever important stuff was going on back in New York and Burbank with my team that just couldn't wait. I remember rolling into the Bahia in San Diego and racing for their business office to get an internet connection to do some work on the website that needed to be done and no one else in Pasadena knew how to do. To think of it, I'm not sure I had a real vacation-vacation since our first anniversary when we were aboard a cruise ship and had no access to anything. Even the February where I was at a conference, I spent countless hours each evening perched in front of the laptop, not to mention continually glued to the Blackberry all day during the conference.
This vacation was different. I intentionally didn't take the laptop and I forgot the Blackberry (honest!). There was 24-hour access to high speed internet, but I really limited my use (and not just because it was Internet Explorer. bleh.) I was really weird at first, waiting on a street corner, or waiting for family members making a pit stop, or walking with a fussy child outside of an establishment, not to take a peek at the Blackberry. But it was also surprising how subtle the withdrawal pangs were. I expected them to be much worse.
This vacation was awesome. Friends of ours gifted us the use of their condo for five days right on the harbor in Victoria. It was a big two-bedroom suite six floors up with gorgeous views, great cross-breezes (no A/C) in the heart of a vibrant and very walkable city.
And this trip opened my eyes to a few things. A need for change. A little more of this, a little less of that. I started making a list, and maybe I'll ultimately post it. But the first and most obvious thing is that my online presence needs to be curtailed. Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Gmail, Reader, MSNBC.... and for what?
I would like my life to be more vacation-like. And I have some definite ideas about how to accomplish that. It's going to take some work, some mental adjustment, some money, but it can be done and I will do it.
My normal life may be resuming, but I've decided to simultaneously remain on vacation.
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