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It’s summertime and the living is easy…well at least it’s supposed to be. When you own your own business, living the dream isn’t always so dreamy. It takes days worth of planning to make a vacation with your kids happen and even more time to get out of the office if you own the business. Like any big project, the pre-work dictates the success. Then there’s the clean up once you return to the office.
Years ago I gained freedom from all of the stress of leaving for vacation as an entrepreneur with a cell phone and a good Wi-Fi connection. I could plug in and barely miss an email or crucial decision. It was important to my staff to know that they could reach me anytime. I was proud of that. I had their backs and supported them even while out of the office. Working from anywhere, I felt successful and like I had mastered my life. I was living proof that you could really have it all: an education, a great business, kids, a husband and even be plugged into your extended family. I took calls while my kids were screaming in the background and fed them junk food to keep them quiet. Besides, I always said I would rather work 100 hours for myself than 50 for someone else right?
"Working from anywhere, I felt successful and like I had mastered my life. I was living proof that you could really have it all: an education, a great business, kids, a husband and even be plugged into your extended family."
But, I barely knew what I was missing. The “watch me mom” shots on net, the cannonballs into the pool and the countless license plate bingo games in the car while my husband was driving to our destination. I was so tied up in my device and work that I was really just tagging along rather than being an active participant. It’s likely that I am being self critical but I have come to understand that the phases really do pass by quickly and you need to sit and wait for them…especially in the summer.
"I was so tied up in my device and work that I was really just tagging along rather than being an active participant."
Recently I have read countless articles about screen addiction on the Internet and the affect on kids. Sometimes I find myself on my phone even though I won’t let my kids be on their tablets. What’s my reasoning? Well, I am working of course!
This summer will be different. We are going to cottages, travelling to California for an epic “Griswold” road trip down the Pacific coast and attending countless hockey and volleyball tournaments (yes, apparently hockey does still exist in the summer). I will be present for all of them. I have vowed to put down my phone, listen with intent and watch with awe. Our entire family is addicted to screen time now (thank you Apple) but collectively, we agreed to ditch our devices, involve everyone in planning the vacation itineraries and get outside together. In fact, I gave my daughter my Air B&B password and a budget…..she planned all of our stops from San Francisco through to San Diego (will report back on how that worked out…or didn’t).
But point being, you only have so many summers with your kids and once they go, you can’t get that time back….and hopefully you still recognize your spouse! Right honey?