Working Vacations Rule?

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obx
I nearly fell over…

It was 3 days into our vacation. Four families hanging out in one giant oceanfront house on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. About 4 in the afternoon and, after a full day at the beach, the pool, the hair-braiding place, the kite-store and more, I’d settled into a corner of the upper deck to spend a little time jotting down ideas in my moleskine with the sound of the waves stoking my creative juices.

A few minutes in, the sliding glass door swings open and one of the girl’s, a friend of my daugher’s older sis, comes up behind me and says. “Don’t you ever stop working? You’re always on the computer or the phone or reading or writing.”

First impulse, anger. Because her perception was so far from reality.

Second impulse…my heart sank.

I wondered if there was truth to her perception. Because, if there was, then I’d inadvertently become “that” dad. The one who spends every moment tethered to a J-O-B that takes him away from his family, if not physically, then emotionally. Even on vacation.

Man, I hoped, I really hoped I hadn’t become him.

So, I set down my book and thought through each day on the beach. And, it turns out, while I’d spent a lot of time with the families, I was doing something a bit peculiar. Something the other dads weren’t doing. In fact, sitting on the couch typing this as the sun rises, I’m doing it again.

When the other dads weren’t playing around, grilling or otherwise hanging out with people, they’d steal away to sleep, watch TV or read a magazine or book. Often for hours a day. And, that’s cool. But, I did something different.

I stole away…to work.

And, that struck this one little girl as “odd.”

And, it is. But, here’s why at least in my case…odd is good.

Because I get paid to do what I’d do as a hobby on my downtime at the beach. I love to create. I love to write. I love to build. I love to connect with likeminded people. I love to help people bring their visions to fruition. That’s just plain fun for me. And, I’d rather spend my “downtime” doing them, than reading People Magazine, sleeping or otherwise frittering and wasting the hours in an offhand way (anyone get that reference?).

I’m not tethered to work…I’m blessed to work.

The fact that the very thing I call play in my downtime at the beach might end up translating to money in the bank shouldn’t mean I should stop doing it simply because it’s what the outside world calls work and “you’re not supposed to work when you’re on vacation.”

It’s what I love to do. It’s my funtime. My downtime. My playtime.

Whether other people deem it work or not doesn’t really matter.

I do it because it makes me come alive, not because I’m on someone else’s leash.

And, that’s a massive distinction.

I’m still up hours before everyone to do yoga and meditate. I still spend the better part of each day playing with the wonderful group of friends and kids who are sharing this week with us. And, when everyone else goes off for their own personal downtime, I go off…to work.

Not a curse. Not an intrusion. Not an obligation. But, a blessing.

Curious, what do YOU think?

Am I just making excuses?

Have you experienced anything similar?

Let’s discuss…

[FYI – I shot the photo above on my iPhone as the sun rose yesterday in OBX. And, I guess since I’m using it on the blog…I must’ve been working then, too!]

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84 responses

84 responses to “Working Vacations Rule?”

  1. Leila says:

    Very refreshing entry. It made me feel better about always wanting to be doing “something.” I always have a project or something up my sleeve, and my family will perceive it as “working too hard.” But in reality, I’m enjoying what I’m doing. It’s not work for me. Thanks for this entry.

  2. rickquinn says:

    good post. I feel the same way and when on vacation can never “really” relax unless I know what is going on at the office. Some people can shut off and ignore their profession. I can’t and don’t understand people that can.

  3. Well said Jonathan!

    When you do what you are passionate about for a living,
    work and play are all the same.

    When it looks like work to others but feels like play to you,
    you are “working” on the right things…

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yup. Then the challenge becomes making sure you’re also honoring the “other” relationships and activities you’re passionate about

  4. Nancy says:

    Yes! Exactly. I had a similar experience when I vacationed with my then-boyfriend and his family at the beach. Within a day I was bored out of my mind. There’s only so much beach and TV watching I can stand. Then I want to write. They didn’t get that. I suspect they still don’t.

  5. Cath Duncan says:

    I have this problem too. My work is what I’d do as a hobby if I didn’t do it as work. Sure, not all of it, but a lot of it. And so I love to continue doing that stuff when I’m on holiday/ at weekends, etc. I’d much rather do that than watch telly, so I often get accused of being a workaholic. I’ll always make time for quality time with friends and family, but I pull out of wasting time together. I’m also the sort of person who recharges by being alone, so I need my alone time, and then I often love to write or read during this alone time, so it looks like work to other people.

    Ah, well…

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yeah, I think part of it is also that people like to overlay their own processes and preferences when setting the expectations about how other folks should act

  6. Smoph says:

    What a lovely post. I wish I was in an industry where I could write more. You seem to have it worked out, and for that I congratulate you! It is a rare thing to find a career you love.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Still very much a process for me, evolving and experimenting every day. Why not start joining in that process today?

  7. Rob says:

    I absolutely agree. I am blessed that the work I do stimulates creativity and inspires me to push and engage my mind on a regular basis. I sometimes feel guilty because other people have made “work” such a pejorative term, and cannot see that their “work” is not the same for me.

    If we reframe the argument for “work” and change our attitudes toward it, I think we can find the proper balance between it and “life.”

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      No doubt. For me, work is just another passion to work into the mix, regardless of where I am

  8. Eugene says:

    Another distinction is that vacations mix group time with private time. One’s private time on vacation can be occupied with whatever one wishes to pursue. Perhaps it’s distorted to consider your private time’s mental ramblings as work rather than mental rambles. Until an idea is developed and launched in the marketplace of work, it’s just an idea. If you shop an antique store on vacation and buy a picture, it’s a leisure activity. If you sell the picture for a million bucks, does that change the shopping adventure to work?

    Enjoy the outer banks!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Great point, Eugene. There is this mix of group and alone time. I think one of the challenges is that a lot of people don’t view working, passion-driven or not, as a valid use of vacation alone time.

  9. dana nichols says:

    My husband/partner has a very similar case to yours and my kids say the same thing as do other family members
    and of course me. I know that he has a true gift to love his work. However I feel we need boundaries with being hooked up to wireless. We live in the Santa Cruz mountains and 3 years ago we did not have internet capabilities and were told we would probably not have that service in the future. Now that we do have high speed, working all the time seems to always confront our life. I need to ask and remind and somehow that seems to be nagging and I would like your opinion on how to approach this kind of
    situation.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Totally agree. That’s one the biggest challenges when you love your work, regardless of location or vacation. You need to be very aware of the need to set boundaries and give attention to those who mean most to you in your life outside of your passion for work

  10. Lori Enos says:

    Jonathon,
    This was a tremendous post. I’m like that too, I get completely engaged in things I’m doing for work because they are interesting and relaxing for me. When I get working on training materials I can get so engaged that hours go by. I’m also one that writes and journals and other things that could be considered work on vacation.
    Thanks for this awesome post.
    Lori

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      That’s called the Flow state, Lori, and it’s amazing. But, as you noted, it can also become so utterly absorbing it can take you away from other people and activities you find equally enjoyable…or would find equally enjoyable were you to invest the same energy in them.

  11. Sean Ogle says:

    Really good post Jonathan.

    Regardless of what you consider to be your “work” or “job” if you are doing something that you would be doing regardless, that is ok. In fact it is better than ok, it means you have accomplished what most people spend their whole lives trying to do.

    I think another thing that sets you apart from the other dads, is that your idea of a vacation is probably very different than theirs. While no matter where you go, the chances are you will be doing some form of “work”, because you enjoy doing it. They probably are trying to get as far away from work as they can, and thus, this could be perceived as odd to someone who doesn’t understand it.

    Thanks for the thoughts!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      I completely agree, Sean. I think the big challenge here, as alluded to by a bunch of others in the comments is figuring out how to make clear to your spouse, partner and kids that you’re not replacing “their” time with work but rather you’re replacing TV time, downtime, alone time, which you all need, with passion-driven work time

  12. Ellen says:

    I know your reaction, my little girl, too, asked me how this question. And you know, it helped me, helped me to this issue to divide the work and leisure. Now I find more time for my children and I try to limit the maximum working time.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      The issue of allocating your energy between solo passion time and family time is intertwined, no doubt. But, I think this is really more about how you spend your solo passion time when it threads through the day in a vacation setting

  13. That is the trick.

    Some people like to argue that you’re deluding yourself by saying you enjoy working, but you wouldn’t be doing it if you won the lottery and didn’t need the money for several lifetimes. But writing, creating and engaging with others is something many people would rather be doing instead of taking naps or playing video games.

    Everyone is different, and we all have to live in our own skin, not anyone else. Those who insist you’re deluding yourself just enjoy other things like lounging about, or partying or whatever it is that they enjoy.

    When you start to hate what you used to love, you may be doing it wrong 🙂

  14. Jonathan,

    This doesn’t sound odd at all. In fact, it sounds beautiful. It sounds like the ideal “job” if you even want to call it that. Sure, you have to zone out to focus in and get the good stuff out onto the screen, but for the most part, if you need to, you can talk to your kids at beckon call.

    I envy you and this freedom, and its what I strive for every day. Thanks for showing me that you’re living the dream and enjoying what you do.

  15. […] days with family. While I write an Everyman on vacation I consider this Jonathan Fields post titled Working Vacations Rule? “I’m not tethered to work…I’m blessed to work. It’s what I love to do. It’s my funtime. […]

  16. LisaNewton says:

    Me and vacations are funny. Do to the nature of what I write about, things to see and do in SoCal, I often feel like I’m always on a working vacation (well, except when I’m working my day job). I love what I do. Even when I take a true vacation, I still have a need to do things write, take pictures, and plan. It’s just who I am. Much like you, I just love it, so it’s not work.

  17. Karim says:

    You are not alone. I get to face this every time on vacation. The problem is i can’t remain without working 🙂

    Thanks,
    Karim – Positive thinking

  18. Here’s the sunny side: I’m passionate about my work as a writer and teacher. I’m beholden to no-one and can work from anywhere, whether sitting in a cafe in Buenos Aires, or watching the sun go down from my veranda in New Zealand.

    Sounds good, eh?

    But here’s the dark side: I’m not only passionate, I may even be addicted to writing. In the early mornings my eyes snap open and I think, “Is it too early to write?”

    When I travel, I worry about having access to the Internet. In fact, when I arrive in Buenos Aires next week, my first concern will be to suss out my Internet connection.

    Have I exchanged the ninetofive cage for another?

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Amazing question. And, I think it’s one everyone who’s got a creative jones struggles with all the time. I know I do

  19. No, I’ve never experienced this! My husband and I quite rare in our ability to do nothing for years at a time when we are able. Seriously, not a lot of people can do it. Of course, I always write but writing in a journal is different than working to earn money. Still, if people paid to read my journal I suppose I would be working. Maybe that’s what you’re doing. It’s fabulous that you love your job so much and definitely something to aspire to since doing nothing can’t be maintained forever – in the end the need to support oneself generally raises its ugly head:)I look forward to reading more. Happy hols!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yeah, maybe your journaling would be working if some agent stumbled upon it after you left it at the beach, found it enthralling and upon returning it wanted to sign you. Fuzzy lines they are!

  20. Jim says:

    Are you living my life? It’s nice to know i’m not alone. I suppose a nap is good but I get a lot more out of moving forward. The thinking and writing notes to self are our down time or at least it’s mine. Vacation is a time to relax in a different way, which allows us a different angle (“on vacation”) to see things from. But the comment from the little one still stings a little doesn’t it. They see from the eyes most of us wish we still had.

    Thanks
    Jim L

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Love the idea of vacation allowing us a different angle. In fact, things often come to me in a vacation mindset that make me want to “work” even more to capture and expand on them before they vanish

  21. Ron says:

    Interesting.

    I think you’re justifying, but it’s a good justification.

    Like you said, your work and play at this point in your life are all wrapped up into one. So whereby others may see it as “work”, to you it simply is a “passion”. I’ve been accused of this before also and in ignorance I took a more self-bashing approach until I realized that I do what I do out of passion and interest rather than to “obsess” or “escape”.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hehe, trust me, I’ve rambled in and out of the self-bashing side of the equation, too. It’s one big, fat, happy process.

  22. Ah… having been self-employed almost all my adult life, I have worked and reflected on this one A LOT. For me, it comes down to: 1) making sure it’s not technology induced busy work I’m doing to avoid connecting with others in the name of work. Because hanging with other people can be boring for me but then working to connect can give me such juice. But it does take work sometimes and I have to be careful I don’t use work to escape that work (if that makes sense!). 2) that even though I love what I do, breaks completely free from work rejuice me more than working everyday. Period. I’ve just found total down time – doing what I want which is not grilling but can certainly be napping – works like a charm to give me new ideas and energy.

    To me, the key is having boundaries and checking in myself, and having a sweetheart who is willing to say, “Get away from that work and come here!”

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Love that thought, Jennifer. Something I need to think about, because I also need time completely away to “clear my mental palate.” But, I guess I consider that personal retreat time, which, at least to me, has a different purpose that family vacation time. Need to consider it more though.

  23. Alan Takushi says:

    Well said! I suppose there’s a fine line between what we consider “work” vs. “play.” How many of us can say that we get paid to play? Not many… 🙂

  24. I wrote a blog post somewhere, in which I claim there’s no such thing as work/life balance for those who truly love what they do, and still love the people around them.

    It’s a totally familiar feeling, the idea of sitting in beautiful surroundings, relaxing–and working. Except, if I choose to do it in order to feel relaxed, fulfilled, energized, IT’S NOT WORK. Writing, teaching, creating–it’s what I’ve been doing my whole life; I’ve just finally found a way to make a living at it.

    There are times I use what others would consider ‘down time’ to do what they’d consider ‘work.’ But I’m just as likely to take a Wednesday morning and do some volunteer work with my family.

    The lines are not blurred. I know when I’m doing which. I also know that the people around me, the ones I love, feel cared for and loved and never ever feel like I’m putting anything else in the world ahead of them. It’s something we talk about as a family, because we know it’s an easy trap to fall into when you love your ‘work.’

    When the whole family’s watching the path, it’s pretty easy to see the trap and avoid it.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      “I also know that the people around me, the ones I love, feel cared for and loved and never ever feel like I’m putting anything else in the world ahead of them.” – That’s the biggee! Something I’m actually going to talk about with my family when we get home

      • It amazes me how many people don’t think to just talk about it. One of the biggest ways to avoid loss of trust in a relationship is to declare your intent. Keeps you honest, ’cause now you have to live up to it, but if others know your declared intent, they look for *that* instead of the story they’d otherwise come up with.

  25. We moved to NC a few years ago and spend every Christmas and summer vacation at the beach. It is wonderful.

    To answer your questions . . . No, you’re not making excuses. Yes, I have experienced something similar. If you love your work and work with ideas, then you can work all the time and yet never be working at all.

    Robert Frost said it best in, Two Tramps in Mud Time.

    “But yield who will to their separation,
    My object in living is to unite
    My avocation and my vocation
    As my two eyes make one in sight.
    Only where love and need are one,
    And the work is play for mortal stakes,
    Is the deed ever really done
    For Heaven and the future’s sakes.”

    My friends and co-workers have criticized me for reading on vacation, finding deep philosophy in SpiderMan movies, and pulling blog posts from music lyrics. They wonder why I can’t just enjoy these activities. They wonder why I’m always thinking, always working.

    But as you said, I love what I do and don’t want to do anything else. I am enjoying myself. My vocation is my avocation. What I love and what I need are one. My work is play.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Beautiful passage from Frost, David, thanks so much for bringing it to the conversation

  26. I don’t know why work has become such a universally despised idea. Everyone seems to be trying to quit their jobs or at least do as little as possible. Even children are conditioned to thing that work is bad.

    I personally find work, almost any work, challenging and fulfilling. Boring tasks can be meditative and challenging tasks can be a learning experience. Of course, anything we do too much of gets dull. That is life and that is why vacations are so important.

    I also love to work on vacations. There is something about being in new surroundings, especially airports that is so inspiring and gets my creative juices flowing. I would go crazy without my idea book for even a day or too.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      You hit on a big issue, which is that work HAS become largely a “bad” word. And, I’m doing what I can to change that!

  27. Bo says:

    9 to 5, Monday-Friday, I work with a group of people who look forward to retirement – bankers. The rest of my waking hours, I work with people who would be devastated if they had to retire from their work – professional musicians. Musicians rather fear the decline of facility and technique with old age. But one doesn’t stop doing what one loves because it’s time to retire. The same goes for vacations I think. If your work is just “work,” then vacation is an escape or a temporary retirement from work. If your work is your passion, love, and joy, then your vacation is a continued path, perhaps in a different setting or scenery.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Love the example of musicians and the idea of your work on vacation being just a “continued path”

  28. Congratulations, Jonathan.

    Sounds like a great vacation.

    I’m sure that you know this quotation, but for those who haven’t seen it, it fits very well here. Fellow author James Michener said:

    “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”

    Best,
    Scott

  29. Maggie Mae says:

    I’m with you. I’d rather not spend my own time sleeping or watching tv but blogging. For me, that’s not work and the other stuff would be a waste!

    We once asked family members at a family gathering if they could have a week’s vacation anywhere in the world at no cost to them… but they had to go alone… where would they go, where would they go and what would they do? My brother-in-law, a peaceful, meditating and self-described computer geek thought about it and said, “I’d stay home and work on my computer!” He loves computers and loves what he does(works for Lotus designing next gen tech stuff — his team was responsible for first gen voice rec). In his free time… this is what he would choose to do.

    His wife, my sister, gasped and said she’d choose Paris but only if her computer geek hubby could go along. LOL!

  30. Taz Loomans says:

    Wow, this was an eye-opening post. I feel guilty alot about “working” which for me is the same thing you described…writing my blog, connecting with others, reading other people’s blogs and information. It’s what’s fun for me and heck I want to do it whenever I can. And I chastize myself about it. But now I’ll think twice and maybe just allow myself to do what I enjoy.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      As long as you give enough time to honor any other people and passions you hold dear

  31. When I’m on vacation I love swimming. And I enjoy every second. However, when I’m not swim I love been in shade and read or listen audio books.

    I have one life and doing what you enjoy without sorting it on two piles one work other fun is my receipt for happiness.

  32. Jillian Davis says:

    i liked this post because it hit right in the gut, just like the girl’s comment. You captured that, and with brevity.

    kids have a way of cutting RIGHT to the chase, and then you have to track back and think if it applies. but that initial ‘wham’ stops you dead in the tracks.

    i am absolutely mad for your book and vision.

    thanks!

    jillian

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Jillian! Yup, it was a kick in the pants, but a good reminder to reflect on what I was doing

  33. […] link is being shared on Twitter right now. @joejacobi, an influential author, said Good morning. Coffee […]

  34. Peter Mis says:

    Jonathan,

    When you live an inspired life, there is no distinction between “work” and “vacation”. No need to get away from what it is that you do when what you do is who you are. I share your passion for creating and building, especially when it comes to helping others fully understand their own capacity to achieve and flourish. This passion is not something you can simply turn on at 9 and shut off when you punch out at 5. I feel fortunate, and it sounds like you are as well, to not need a vacation from yourself.

    I know far too many people who spend 50 weeks a year in misery just to have two weeks away from that misery.

    It doesn’t have to be that way.

    Great post…many great comments. Fortunate to be able to add to the conversation!

  35. Fred Wiersma says:

    “First impulse, anger. Because her perception was so far from reality.

    Second impulse…my heart sank.”

    I’m not sure if you’re making excuses for yourself, but this quote is telling something. What is it for you?

    A great post, BTW. If you really do what you really want, you are blessed indeed! Inspirational.

  36. This reminds me of my Dad. He loved his work. To him it was Joy. He wrote a book on sales and dedicated it to JOY. Since all of his efforts were directed to helping people overcome fears and become competent, confidant, happy people he experienced a great deal of Joy. Actually, his only sadness was not helping more people. Ever feel that way? For his 80th birthday we got lots of people that he had helped over the years to call him. It was a wonderful thing but then he teared up. When I asked why he said “think of all of the people out there that I could have helped and didn’t”.

    So when someone questions your desire to “work”, Jonathan, you can let them know that you have lots of people still to help out there.

    Keep up the great work. I may not post replies but I love your blogs and wish you huge success! Because it means one more person has changed their life. How cool is that? What a job!!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hey Sharann, thanks so much for sharing that story about your dad. I think that also highlights one of my challenges, too, which is a tendency to focus on what’s left to accomplish, rather than honoring what’s been done. Great reminder.

  37. I do relate with this too.
    When i was still single i probably wouldnt have noticed anything. But since i became engaged, my Fiance has been doing a pretty good work of reminding when i need to step back and relax. Im glad am not the only one out here in the world with this lifestyle of making money from our hobbies, I mean how can you probably step back from what makes you come alive? It’s your best moments of the day for crying out loud!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Tito, it’s one of the great struggles of creative minds, but a reminder that in the end, the relationships closest to you deserve equal levels of passion and commitment to growth is critical

  38. HCM says:

    I believe that kids have a unique view of the world that we should remember to recapture. I am no yoga/mediation guy however I would get up early and later to complete some work and simply told my 3 children that this allows them enjoy their vacation. WORK is bot a dirty word and I truly enjoy my profession. I should have told my kids that my early rising and “closet work” allow them to be ” frittering and wasting the hours in an offhand way”. Two things: One I read your book on the beach in Corolla (OBX) and the other point is Pink Floyd

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Love it, Henry, Corolla is the perfect place to read CR! And, yes, you got the Pink Floyd reference!

  39. Craig says:

    Jonathon,

    We get so little time with our kids these days, between our jobs and the endless round of after-school and weekend activities we sign them up for. In those times we do have we must be present, and they must feel that we are present.

    It does not matter if we feel that we are using non-productive time productively and enjoy our own creative lives. We are in their daily lives for just a few fleeting years and their memories of us will be made brighter if they feel we were fully present.

    When I stop work, I stop work. Whether it is writing or the day job. This time is not mine it is my family’s and I must concentrate on being present for them.

    I am lucky that my son is a lark and likes to be up early with me and my daughters are night owls. So I get to present with them for all my non-working days from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. It’s time I cherish and work of any kind cannot drag me away from that, after all its why I had a family in the first place 🙂

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Craig, agreed. Time with kids is precious, but what I’m talking about here is not swapping kid time, but what others would call personal or downtime. I am very fortunate, too, in having chosen to build my living around the opportunity to be present with my family, so I tend to have far more time with my daughter during the week than most dads have.

  40. Ian Sanders says:

    This mirrors my own experience. The idea of taking a holiday and not scribbling ideas in my moleskine is an anathema to me. It’s what I am happiest doing, it is who I am.

    I met a new contact today and she said, ‘what do you do when you’re not writing, running your business or spending time with your family?’ And I was like, ‘that IS me’. The Work Ian, The Family Ian = The Real Ian. That’s me. You won’t find me on the golf course or off sailing, you’ll find me scribbling ideas down or soaking up some inspiration.

    And as the lines between ‘work’ and ‘play’ blur, this is an increasingly common tale..

  41. For me the question that came up was: Yes but can you turn off completely?

    In August I went away for a week to the Canary Islands to the typical hotel with pool, buffet and nearby beach. While I was tempted to work/write, I purposefully didn’t and spent a lot of time just staring at the sky.

    To me if someone is unable to do that then they’re not comfortable with themselves and with their thoughts. If you need to be doing something then I’d question what’s happening internally that doesn’t allow you to spend time staring at the sky.

  42. […] Working Vacations Rule? I sometimes work on vacation in much the same way Jonathan does. If I have an idea, even if I’m on vacation, I’ll pull out that notepad and write it down. Why? If I DON’T, it sticks in my head and distracts my thoughts. My mind gets entangled in the idea. If I just stop, pull out that pad for ten minutes, and get a framework of my thoughts down on paper, it’s easier for me to just let it go. (@ jonathan fields) Related Posts The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Post-Super Bowl EditionThe Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Places to Follow Me EditionThe Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Birthday Update EditionThe Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: See The World EditionThe Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Crunch Edition Did you like this article? You can get the complete text of all the latest articles at The Simple Dollar in your email inbox each morning by entering your email address below. Your address will only be used for mailing you the articles, and each one will include a link so you can unsubscribe at any time. No comments yet. Be the first. Leave a reply […]

  43. Ellen says:

    True success comes from doing what you love and getting paid for it.

    Props to you for finding this in your life. The fact that you actually enjoy devoting part of your vacation to your work just means that you really belong doing what you do. Plus, if you were a celebrity blogger (for instance), then maybe reading People Magazine would be working on your vacation. Only no one would notice.

  44. […] Working Vacations Rule? I sometimes work on vacation in much the same way Jonathan does. If I have an idea, even if I’m on vacation, I’ll pull out that notepad and write it down. Why? If I DON’T, it sticks in my head and distracts my thoughts. My mind gets entangled in the idea. If I just stop, pull out that pad for ten minutes, and get a framework of my thoughts down on paper, it’s easier for me to just let it go. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  45. Don’t I just recognise myself there? Don’t feel guilty – I stopped doing that years ago. That’s simply the way I relax …

  46. John Laser says:

    I think that it’s great that you love what you do. I also think that it is super important to have time to yourself to do what you love, and if that’s working for you, than so be it. So many people don’t enjoy what they are doing and maybe that is why people think it’s odd that you do enjoy it, therefore you do it all the time. I enjoyed reading.

  47. Cher pearce says:

    Great post! I know how you feel, its so difficult to switch off sometimes, and not only that.. holidays are a time when you can clear your mind a little more.. to let new ideas in.

    It was my holiday last year, that gave me to the time to think and reflect and decide a new career path.. so again still thinking about work! lol

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here!

    Cher

  48. I find that I have a difficult letting go of work while on short vacations. I am so passionate about my career and I love the work I do, so it doesn’t feel like work most of the time. I recently took a 15 vacation and traveled to asia and after the first couple of days I was able to completely let go and enjoy my time away from everything. I think the necessary component is doing something so removed from daily life that you are forced to get out of your comfort zone of “doing what you love, ie. work” and allow yourself to truly experience something new. I think the trap many of us fall into is getting away to “relax”. The problem with “relaxing” is that it just doesn’t provide the mental stimulation we have grown accustomed too, so we become bored and quickly return to our “work” that serves to satisfy our mental craving.

  49. Steve Saluad says:

    i’m caught in the same sort of world. i love to take a break from real work and sit around and read and watch videos ive been meaning to catch up on and just chill out. But because i always do it with a notepad at hand and usually fill more than one each day.. i get the “you are always working”, but i’m not, not really, i’m having fun connecting with ideas, collecting new thoughts, allowing the mood and the information i’m experienceing to stimulate new thoughts and i’m just collecting them..and because i write them down i,m free to just relax.. sure when i get back home i review them and snatch some ideas to put into practice i get the “you never relax”.. well I AM RELAXING i just don’t completely veg out.. but what i’m doing is not work..

  50. […] perspective. If you need help finding the right balance between work and play, it might help imagining what you look like to your kids tapping away on your laptop in your Bermuda shorts. You tell yourself about the economic complexities and that you prefer […]

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