Monday, July 21, 2014

Things you learn on Vacation

Getting some exercise on vacation.
The blog has been on hiatus for the last three weeks because I have taken some time off to rest and recharge.  In that time, I witnessed a family member get married and I experience some of the American frontier.  Now that I am starting to settle back into my usual routine; I wanted to share with my readers what I have learned.

First of all, I desperately needed some time off.  I was working during the week over fifty hours and struggling to maintain my business at night and on weekends.  It took an emotional and physical toll upon me.  I was eating poorly.  My sleep cycle was swinging wildly between insomnia and twelve hour power naps on weekends.  I also noticed that it was becoming increasingly difficult to concentrate on anything.  I was a textbook definition of burnt out.

The next thing I notices is that when I finally got on the road on my trip to Jackson, Wyoming was that the cycle of my work had become so consuming it took about three days before I stopped checking mail from the office.  I felt like I should be doing something when what I really should have been doing is enjoying myself. I was exhibiting the pathology many professionals suffer and it was the inability to disconnect.

I also noticed that relationships with my family were frayed and that I needed to spend time with them.  Most of my cousins are grown and have spouses and children of their own.  I began to reconnect with them.  It was a nice and a chance to focus on what was important.  It amazed me what remarkable people my cousins has become in their adult years.

The good news was that Jackson was the perfect antidote to my self-induced fatigue.   The altitude was bracing for a Midwestern fellow like me.  The scenery reminded me how important nature is in our lives.  I also attended one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever witnesses with the Grand Teton Mountains acting as the cathedral.  I even got to get some exercise which I have been neglecting for most of my career.

While I was away a few things became obvious to me.  First, when you are striving to be successful the only people who are going to be in your corner are family.  Next Jackson, Wyoming is a weird mixture of conspicuous wealth and rugged cowboy heritage.  The juxtaposition is very disorienting.  Finally, for most of my trip I could not escape the presence of the technologies which are responsible for my livelihood.

The great frontier is no different than my sweet home Chicago.  Tourists fill the streets listening to music streaming on smart phones.  Jackson had 4G LTE service.  Tablet computers and laptops were being user openly in the national parks.  Finally, all of my pictures were taken with my phone.  You can try to escape the 21st century but it keeps finding you.

All of the revelations were good for me and I look forward to getting back to work and making sense of my business.  We are also working on a new project for the business which we will be sharing on-line soon.  It is nice taking time off and I am glad that you could indulge me.

Until next time.