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It is important to any successful life to take time away.

I am back at my desk for the first time in a week. We just got back from a relaxing week in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It is crucial to have times of relaxation, and I have to admit that when I am in a go-go spirit of working I forget this. Fortunately for me, Melanie knows what’s best for me in this regard, and she takes the bull by the horns and plans our times away well ahead of time.

The thing I find really interesting is that in my mind, there’s never a good time to schedule a break, because I am typically focused on my pursuits and the good of the organization I serve….yet every time we take a trip together, it seems to be exactly what I need…

This particular trip was especially timely as it marked a few watershed times. Mel is officially finished her treatments and is doing great…here is a picture of her and I hanging at the water’s edge:

It also marked possibly the last time we would take a trip as just the four of us. Brett will be graduating in the coming spring and Allie will most likely living in Charleston next summer as she prepares for her senior year and makes her own way in life. It was a particularly fulfilling trip from this perspective for me as both of them are so busy in their lives that extended periods of one-on-one time are precious and hard to come by and I enjoyed quite a bit of it. Here are Brett, Allie, and I at Epcot:

Yeah, I know it’s sideways…just turn your head sideways:-)

I have had a very unique life relative to time with my family. Because I chose to earn my living in networking and be at home, I spent enormous amounts of time with my children all through their lives. I am certain that I have already spent more time with my kids than most fathers will spend in three lifetimes…and that is not an exaggeration. It is a major fruit of being full time in this industry…time with your family. To me, missing this piece in life is…well…missing a big piece of life and guaranteeing a major point of regret for the future.

Now my battery is full to the top. I had my fill of good food and sun, played in the surf for hours a day…including surfing for the first time in 30 years, and had plenty of fun and relaxation in general. Now it’s back to go time. It’s back to this fun thing I get to do that others think about as work. Funny, but I am dressed the same way I was yesterday morning at the beach…

The moral here is that you have to take some breaks and just BE with the people you love. It’s a key part of a successful and balanced life. The world can survive without you for a few days. If you are working your pursuits the right way, you need to take some time off every three months or so…no point in producing fruit if you don’t enjoy some every now and then.

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