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What I did on my summer (un)vacation…
The temps in the city reached the 90’s and people got cranky at times. (They are the same people who will complain about the snow and cold this winter.) I love the heat. I simply strip off layers, avoid the subway, and escape urban life when I can.
As an entrepreneur, I rarely take a true vacation. But I use the summer months to travel more, write more, walk more, drink more, and think more. I did not, as the picture might imply, go deep sea fishing. Enough romanticized stuff is floating out there on social media, and it’s creating all kinds of depression and anxiety, according to this article. So I’ll simply tell the truth.*
This summer was an especially interesting one. Here are some of the highlights and learnings. Hopefully you can benefit from them — all year round.
- The summer started with a family crisis. A dose of reality is always humbling and helps one gain perspective. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and ended up getting lots of random hugs from friends and strangers alike. (Nothing too creepy, however.)
- Two of my company’s summer interns were totally awesome, dispelling the notion that all millennials are difficult. Working with millennials often just requires an adjustment in perspective and management style. (Here’s an interesting study.) These two wonder women are staying on through the fall. Hooray!
- I took a practice GRE through Inspirica (the same tutoring company my kids used) and am committed to getting an online Masters Degree. I remembered more algebra than I thought. Challenging yourself to do something totally terrifying can be character-building (or so I’m trying to convince myself).
- I traveled to Boston, Colorado, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. I met some great new people and re-connected with former colleagues and friends. There’s something to be said for the real world (although I love my Facebook and LinkedIn friends too!) I learned that getting out of your space and hitting the road can change your brain and perspective (for the better). I’m learning to travel light too. My house is on the market. (Anyone reading this want to buy it? Please!)
- I learned some cool new digital tricks (thanks to those two great interns referenced in #2, as well as my determination not to become a dinosaur.) But I did take long blocks of “unplugging time.” Stepping away from ones devices is key!
- I discovered fig-flavored vodka and a new brand of yogurt that comes in cool little terracotta pots. Feeling all organic prompted me to donate reusable bags to the East Hampton Farmers Market. (Want one? We saved 10 of them for devoted blog readers. Please just hit me up if you want one!)
- I went to a couple of trade shows. I love trade shows. Yes…that’s weird. But true.
- Working with a business coach and a financial advisor, I started planning out the next five decades (or at least the next 12-18 months). I have also been steadily de-toxing my life, shedding bad habits, narcissists, and takers. I’ve stopped “adopting strays” and value my time more carefully.
- I didn’t see as many movies as I usually do. I preferred not sitting in the dark when the weather was nice. I did get some culture, however. I read a lot, including the Sunday New York Times (the paper version, not the Twitter feed), which I hadn’t done in ages!
- I was especially prolific, writing for Nightclub & Bar’s website and updating this blog every week. I’m planning my next book too. Every time my fingers hit the keyboard or I get miked-up for a talk, I am reminded of my passion for writing and teaching. Hence the Masters Degree.
And, of course, I made some time to sit in the sun and on the sand. Next week I’ll probably spa and hike and bike. I need to rest up for the next 50 summers of my life.
*P.S. Three other major life events took place over the summer. Only my close friends know what they are. Although I love social media, some things are better kept among real friends!
What did YOU do this summer? What did YOU learn? Feel free to post below!