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Posted on / by Debra Alfarone / in General, How To

Why time off is effing essential

Let’s get something straight. I work a lot. I always have. And, odds are, I always will. It all stems from that first taste of freedom when I got my first job. A little spending money gives you freedom, but I ended up getting so much more. My sense of worth grew as I was received compliments for being good at what I did. I quickly learned the more you worked, the more money you made. The more you worked, the faster you moved up. 

My husband Josh and I try to go on at least one vacation a year. This week was it. We spent half a week in Encinitas, California and the rest of the week in the Little Italy section of downtown San Diego. It was truly life-affirming. 

Every day brought perfect weather. It was sunny and in the 70s with no humidity and a soft breeze. Every. Day. We lived a laid-back California life for a week and it was truly fabulous. Our skin got darker and our hair blonder as we ate from the farmer’s market, walked for miles, and napped on the beach. One day we went to the San Diego Fair.  We ate – in no particular order – oysters, avocado toast, ice cream, tacos, BBQ, strawberries, italian pasta. We took yoga classes and meditated. We drank hard kombucha, craft beer and local wine. We pet dogs and celebrated our 2-year wedding anniversary. We danced and chatted with friends, and people we didn’t know. We bonded. 

You have to build memories together. You have to build memories, period. You have to have a break. Before the vacation, we were both so burnt out that we crept into our beds every night to scroll away on our phones until we fell asleep – just to rinse and repeat every day. Joy was in short supply. This refilled us and refueled us. Yes, we have a lot to do when we get back – but now we’re better mentally prepared for it.

And, I learned that we need a little of that joy scheduled into our weeks. Schedule joy, you ask? Yes. Josh and I are going to schedule a date night once a week where we go out and experience something new, whether it’s a new spot for dinner or even just a walk through a new neighborhood. And, I’m going to make working out and eating right a priority. Really. I had it in my head that you can’t be a successful entrepreneur and find time to work out regularly. But, if I don’t invest in myself, there won’t be anything left for my business and my husband and my family. And then, what’s the point? 

So, in short, take the vaca. Invest in yourself. Buy yourself that yoga membership. You’l never regret the money and time you spend on yourself. And buy that glass of wine on the returning flight when a little kid is crying behind you. You won’t regret that either. 

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