What I Did On My Summer Vacation
Remember those essays we used to write on the first day of school?
The exercise is a great one for adults too. As we head into the final official weekend of summer, now is a good time to reflect on what we did — both for business and for pleasure — and what we’re planning to do during the last months of 2016.
We had roughly 100 days to change things up. The pace of life and business always seems different during the summer. Here are just a few things that I did over those days (and what I learned):
- My company manages the marketing for a couple of summer camps. Viewing pictures of kids trying new activities, making friends from strangers, and taking risks is always an inspiration. I reflect on the new relationships I built this summer too and, although I didn’t scale a climbing wall or perform in a talent show, I had to do a few things outside my comfort zone. For example, I was asked to appear on TV news about 20 minutes before the interview, and, if I must say so myself, it one of the best cramming jobs I’ve done since college. Thank heavens for Google! Sometimes you just have to say “Yes!” even if you’re scared.
- I didn’t have to sleep in a camp bunk but I officially moved from my house in the burbs into Manhattan. Adjusting to a new environment as an adult is both exciting and terrifying. I learned I can live in 400 square feet and that I don’t really need a lot of “stuff.”
- Speaking of new challenges, I started a new exercise/eating program. I spun, boxed, Pilated (is that a word?) and experimented with new recipes like protein pancakes and gluten-free muffins. It paid off. I feel better and my clear thinking had an impact on my energy level at work too.
- Business can be slow sometimes during the summer months. I used my downtime to create plans for the fall, do some volunteer work, and invest in my speaking/writing efforts and…
- I wrote a ton. Throughout the summer, I researched and wrote blogs about 25 things related to the “business of fun,” dissected the hearts and souls of millennials, analyzed which of my posts drew the best audience, and learned lots about content repurposing. I contributed to other media as well, including women and entrepreneurship, booze, weed, and music media. Even though I didn’t have to attend summer school, I created my own opportunities to learn about new industries and trends — all while learning about the intersection of content marketing and marketing technology (which, I predict, will be the silver bullet of 2017). Contact me if you want to know more!
- The two summer interns at my company learned a lot too. We all went to a trade show and I taught them how to navigate the working world. Of course, I was enlighted about a thing or two by them as well (like Snapchat).
- Let’s not forget the fun part of summer! Seeing the Monkees in concert (two of them), viewing Groundhog Day in a bed (a variation on the drive-in movie, sponsored by Casper), and binge-watching some new TV series were among my guilty pleasures.
- Of course, hanging out with family is a summer essential. Spending time with my seven month old granddaughter was a blast, and diaper-changing reinforced the fact that I’m glad that phase is long behind me.
- I enjoyed viewing the photos that my friends posted on Facebook and Instagram of their own summer adventures and journeys to drop their kids off at college. Of course it’s a romanticized and sanitized version of their worlds. But every summer essay contains a dollop of fiction.
- Last…I got ready for the “return to school.” I even bought a new gym backpack, got a new pair of glasses, and some books for fall reading. (You can see my list on Goodreads.)
Note that I didn’t mention Pokemon Go or the Presidential election at all. Some Summer 2016 trends and happenings are better left unpublished.
Of course, I’ll miss the warm weather and the overall summer vibe. But I’ve already started studying-up on fall activities (like film festivals and new movie releases, and Oktoberfest celebrations) and planning my winter vacation(s). Here’s to endless summer!
P.S. Would love to read your “essays” too! Feel free to comment here on what you did and learned this summer. No grades. Not even pass/fail.
P.P.S. Next week, we’ll get more serious and shift to some valuable trends and tips you’ll need to know for your business in the months ahead — and into 2017.