Today I want to explore how to cultivate the change of perspective that comes automatically with vacation.
This year(2020) was the first year I didn't travel for Thanksgiving. It got me thinking, how does vacation really work? Besides the obvious fact that I am resting more and working less, how is it that I consistently start the new year with less stress and clarity of purpose.
For me, the most likely explanation is that vacation creates an unavoidable but temporary change in my perspective on work and life. Time with family, celebrating holidays, and traveling to new places tends to widen how we view the world, even if it's for a few days. And through the lens of a wider perspective the daily stressors and concerns of work vanish.
This year, without the forcing function of a traditional vacation, I've tried to figure out activities to cultivate a more enduring perspective on work and life. I'm sharing two of them with you, hoping that they'll help you over the next couple of weeks.
I compiled a list of contemplations that I could read and reflect on as I went through my work day. A few weeks into using it daily, I'm happy to report that it was a worthy endeavor. The simple exercise of reading a meaningful quote before embarking on even the most mundane activity is an effective way to maintain that broader perspective, even without vacation.
And as I take a few days away from the computer, I plan to re-read How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell. The first time I read it, it shifted my perspective on work. If you need a nudge to read it, I will host an online book club discussion on the book in early January. If you'd like to discuss the book with me, you can sign up for the Sunsama Book Club.
That's it for this edition of Meditations. See you soon!