My husband, daughter and I had a great time visiting with family and going back to my old stomping grounds. It was fun to play tourist, and to introduce my daughter to all of the family members she hadn’t met yet. I had especially been looking forward to introducing her to her Great Grandmother’s! Not a bad way to celebrate her 3rd Birthday, too.
And with this trip came a very important life lesson…
Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Vacation
You know, that thing that is a break from work, to rest the mind, body and soul!
I’ll be honest… it was VERY difficult to take a complete break from work. But I did restrain myself, and am happy to say that I succeeded in my goal!
A Little Bit of Planning Goes a Long Way
The first step was to make the decision to NOT bring my laptop or any client files with me. Making that decision just about killed me, but I knew that I had to leave the computer at home if I was going to make this a truly restful vacation.
I knew that if I brought it with me, I’d end up working “just a little bit” here or there, which would have added up to several hours of work a day. And that is NOT what a vacation should be about.
I was very good at taking care of as much as possible before I left. The last two weeks before my vacation were spent with lots of overtime, getting as far ahead on client work as possible.
I knew I would still have computer access while away, so with very minimal planning, I setup a Gmail account so that I could check my POP email while away from my computer (Mozilla Thunderbird is generally my email application of choice). This way I was able to check email once every couple of days to make sure there were no client emergencies.
I’m quite proud of the fact that I was able to hold myself back from replying to every single email that came in while I was on vacation, LOL. There were a few urgent client emails that I responded to, as well as to some potential new clients. After all, it’s not the best first impression to let a prospect’s email go unanswered for a week or more. Believe it or not, I actually signed a new client while away, too!
Back in the Saddle
I’m officially back at work today. Yes, there was a backlog of emails to respond to – which took no less than 4 hours to get through! As well as still pending blog comments to respond to, posts to write, and not to mention client work to do!
But, now that I’ve managed the mountain that was my inbox, I have a good handle on my upcoming work. I’ve got my week almost completely scheduled out now, and it is completely manageable. Nice to see that the world DIDN’T end just because I was on vacation for a bit.
Newfound Goals and Plans
This was a long overdue and much needed vacation – which meant that I needed to use the time to completely relax and unwind. To spend quality time with my family, and fully enjoy my trip back home.
With this achieved, I’ve found that I now have a completely refreshed and renewed mindset. This trip served as a way to clear my head, and let me re-focus my energies.
I currently have quite the to do list going. Not just specific client projects, but my own projects, too – from re-developing my business site as a WordPress driven site; to reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity so that I can completely declutter and organize my office and get a proper task management strategy underway, etc.
I’d basically say that I want to create a bit of a clean slate in my home office. Heck, I’d almost say it feels like I’m nesting… you know the urge every pregnant woman goes through to declutter EVERYTHING when baby is about to arrive, LOL.
As I’m about a month and a half into my career after taking the freelance plunge, I’ve had a bit of time to test the waters to see what methods work for me. This vacation served as a fantastic break so that I could re-group and see what I need to do in order to pursue my business goals.
Scenes from Paradise
So, now that my lecture is over, LOL, and without further ado, I would like to share with you a few pictures from paradise!
Below are some scenic images from US Virgin Islands – truly breathtaking views from two of the US Virgin Islands – St. Thomas and St. John.
You can also see from the beach shots below why I am completely spoiled as far as beaches go. Some people rave about the beaches in Florida… not me, LOL. When you grow up with crystal clear, turquoise blue water – where you can be neck deep and still see your toes, well, how can you expect anything less after that? LOL
You can click on any of the images below to view the full size images, or you can view the entire set of images (in slideshow or thumbnail format, complete with descriptions) over at Flickr.
Welcome to My Native Home – the United States Virgin Islands
If you’ve never visited the islands before, I hope the images below will help convince you that it is a travel destination not to be missed!