Hard to believe our summer fun is coming to an end! Seems like just yesterday the kids were getting out of school, the pool opened up, and for the first time in months families seemed to exhale a collective sigh of relief.
Now nearly every store you go into is in disarray. Shelves are being stocked with school supplies, Halloween candy, and fall fashions that are too hot to even pay attention to when it’s still 100 degrees outside. Does anyone else feel like life is rushing by?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to let go of summer fun! In fact, I’ve decided I’m going to put it on the to-do list for all year-long and convince as many friends as possible to join me. Because when you really think about it, why should fun and laughter ever not be a part of life?
I was reminded of this yesterday when I chatted with a young lady I hadn’t seen in a while. I asked her, are you taking some time to enjoy life? I’m trying. What do you mean you’re trying? Well I’m working a lot of hours, get home late, and really just want to go to bed.
Her response kind of made me sad, mostly because she’s in her 20’s and now that I’m in my mid 40’s I know the truth. Where she’s racing off to isn’t going anywhere, and if she slows down just a little bit she’ll enjoy so much more of the ride.
Whatever happened to work hard, play hard? Seems like more and more people are embracing the philosophy that you should work hard and work hard, saving the fun for when you reach certain goals or worse, retire. But can that possibly be balanced and healthy living?
When I think back to my parents era they seemed to do things different. Yes, they worked hard – Dad as an engineer and Mom at home. But on the weekends they had fun. Playing cards with their friends, dinner at a neighbor’s house and other social activities were a regular part of our schedule. With their friends they created a village, and the only “occasion” the village needed was being together to have a good time.
Don’t you miss those days? Man, I sure do. Life may not have been simpler, but it was definitely sweeter when fun and laughter were on the agenda.
So how can we get some of that back in the midst of our busy lives? The kids are in school, work has ramped up, and it seems we always have more to do than we have time. Surely we cannot pack more into our days.
You’re right, we can’t add more to our schedule – at least the one we have now. I’ve slowly come to realize that it’s not more time we need. It’s different choices.
Here are two I’ve made to make sure fun stays on the schedule.
Number One: Embrace the power of “no”. Don’t you think it’s ironic that the first word many of us speak is the first word we’re taught is a bad word to use? Think about it. As parents, when our angel-face toddler tells us no the first thing we teach them is you don’t tell Mommy no. But then we expect our children to be empowered to use it with strangers, and others violating their space.
As adults, the badness of “no” is further reinforced as our friends and family use peer pressure to make us feel guilty about saying no when they want us to do something. It’s a ridiculous cycle that we struggle to break all of our lives – saying yes when we clearly want to say no.
Let’s all do ourselves a favor – say yes only when we really mean it. Otherwise say no with love and leave the guilt behind.
Number Two: Take all the vacation days. I know this sounds strange given that I have my own business. But, I have made the executive decision that Katrina McGhee Enterprises has a liberal vacation policy. Why? Because at my last job I carried over vacation days for 6 years and I was cuckoo for doing so.
I was so misguided that I even questioned people who took all their days – wondering if their dedication to the mission was the same as mine. It’s embarrassing to say it, but I was not a good leader in that area. Unfortunately, I was modeling what I saw around me. All except for one brave soul.
Our CFO took every single vacation day every year. It drove me crazy! I was working 10-12 hour days and he was having drinks on the Lido deck of a cruise ship every quarter. Didn’t he know executives didn’t do that?
Apparently not. You see, at a decade older than me he had learned the importance of both work and play. He didn’t worry about anyone else judging him. He did what was best for him and his family. And guess what? Business went on just fine until he got back.
I encourage you to join me in following his example. Take your vacation days. People that are impressed by your “dedication” in carrying over your vacation days are focused on the wrong thing, and there are some areas of our life we have to learn to be brave enough to take a stand against the status quo. Remember – To perform at our best, we have to make time for rest.
Enjoy the last of the season, and drop us a line letting us know how you’re adding fun to your busy schedule.
Loving on Me as I Love You. ❤