Beach Vacation and productivity

Recently, I went on a beach trip with some girlfriends. This is NOT the norm for me. I usually only vacation with my husband and children. I travel for business usually alone but seldom do I take the time to decompress from ALL my responsibilities with girl friends. Except for the occasional ladies retreat at church. Still, there is an agenda for me there too-drawing closer to God for the weekend. This, however, was a trip where there were no expectations. No rules except everyone was responsible for themselves. Period. Want to go to the beach? For a walk? to dinner? Be with people or be alone? All OKAY! Everyday, I got up early as usual, made coffee and breathed in the silence as I watched the sun’s reflection rising over the waves. After coffee, I walked by myself for 1 1 /2 hours alone with my ipod along the water’s edge. (oh…mom..FYI…There were other people on the beach…just not walking with me) Some of you are laughing right now but my mom reads my blog and once a mother, always a mother (now that I am one-I get it) and I don’t want her to worry!  After that, I joined my friends who were  already sunbathing! Hours of catching rays, eating frozen grapes, grabbing lunch or just a snack. Reading a book or listening to music uninterrupted. Maybe a nap or another walk later in the day. Then showers, dinner, and a sunset break on the clear evenings….but NO email or work for me. Strange….in fact, my intention was to catch up on some work while there but I just couldn’t focus. My mind needed a break from everything- so I took it. Amazingly…as the week progressed, I found that creative ideas began to flow effortlessly into my head  for things I had been wrestling with for weeks before I left. I wrote them down so I didn’t forget but did not try to expound on anything. Just rest.WOW! What a difference. Now I am back home and my head is clearer, more organized and my productivity is definitely improved for all my work and responsibilities. Things that were stressing me out seem smaller now. So besides getting lots of R&R I decided to reflect on what really made the difference.

#1 First things first-

Everyday instead of hopping on email or FB first thing, I walked. I gave myself something I needed-exercise! (ok and a beautiful view!) Granted, at home I am getting breakfast for the family in the wee hours before school but after that I can delay email and walk first. The world will not fall apart if I don’t respond to email before 8 am!

#2 Less technology!

Yes, I listened to music and posted a few pics of the beach to face book but I did not feel the need to read email and stay current on everyone’s FB posts. My brain needed a break from constant contact and constant information! This alone cleared my mind! Technology is wonderful but it can put us on overload if we are not careful!

#3 Learning to take time every day to appreciate the beauty around you.

Each night at the beach when the sky was clear-no matter what we were doing- we took a sunset break. A few minutes to view the gorgeous color in the sky over the water. Something about that awe inspired view was stress relieving. I actually do that at home sometimes…but most days I am too busy and I forget. Appreciating the beauty around you even for just a few minutes can renew your senses.

#4 Find people in your age and stage to do life with and laugh often!

The fact that most of us were the same”age and stage” of life meant we had a lot in common. It seemed there was always something funny happening or being said and we would erupt into a chorus of laughter together! I LOVED that! It was fun to just chat about our lives, get to know each other better etc. Did I mention that these women were not my best friends….some were strangers and others were acquaintances I have known for years through church but truly did not “Know” much at all except their stats-husband ,3 kids and grandma to be, for example. Everything wasn’t all rosy in our lives either….we had all experienced or were experiencing trials or grief through unexpected circumstances and we were still able to find laughter and joy in the moments.

Through this trip, I was reminded once again how important it is to take care of ourselves ladies!  You know when the flight attendant comes over the intercom to say, “Please secure your own oxygen mask before you try to help someone else.” Well, it is that way in life. We must take care of ourselves if we want to be able to care for others. Let’s face it, as women, we have a lot going on! Most of us have spouses, families, jobs and houses to take care of….then there is extended family, friends, charities or PTO’s and committees….etc. It’s a never ending list. We must pick and choose what rises to the top of those lists and we need to keep ourselves from staying at the bottom or we will never be as productive as we would like to be!

All this from a beach trip…….I’d say that was productive! 🙂

 

About Debbie Cunningham

Debbie Cunningham is a romantic jazz/pop artist residing in Franklin,TN. She writes songs about staying in love, pursuing your dreams and living life as a mid-life female. She is passionate about her family, relationships, loving others well, sunsets and dark chocolate! www.debbiecunninghamjazz.com

Comments

  1. Lisa Florian says:

    Love it!! Nothing like the beach to refresh, renew and re-energize. No Agenda is the BEST type of vacation for true relaxation. 🙂

  2. Neal Heart says:

    Debbie, thank you for posing this. I appreciate all the words.

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