It's summer - take a vacation!

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  • | 12:00 p.m. July 5, 2010
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Jacksonville Bar President Courtney Grimm

The calendar year is half over. A new Bar year is beginning. It’s hot out (perhaps even too hot to play golf). School’s out and the kids are ready to play full time. It’s traditionally vacation time. A time to spend some special and memorable moments with family and friends.

Just as importantly, it’s a time to take a break from the office. Too often, we don’t take advantage of the summer months and as a result, lose our enthusiasm and energy.

Studies show that vacations are good for you – a necessity. They increase both happiness and productivity. They help rejuvenate and regain your focus. For you men out there, studies have shown that men who didn’t take annual vacations were more likely to die of a heart attack. Summer provides us the perfect opportunity to take a needed break.

What are your summer plans? If you don’t have any, why not? What’s getting in the way? Whether you just take a long weekend or plan to take a whole week, or whether you plan to stay at home or travel afar, you should make some summer vacation plans. Time away from the office should include some leisure time for yourself and will give you a needed and well-deserved boost. Spend time with loved ones, travel, read, take a summer nap, work in the yard, play golf, take the kids to the beach, make homemade ice cream – just take a break from the daily routine.

For those of you that know me, you know that I always use the summer months to take time away, spend time with my family and friends, and re-energize.

I prefer to take extended weekends so that we can take lots of “mini” vacations and so that I don’t feel that I am out of the office too much. We have family scattered throughout the U.S. so we spend our time traveling to Chicago, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Tennessee.

In addition, as many of you know, besides my love for my husband and kids, I love my horses, so we always include a horse adventure or two. If time permits, we will squeeze in a spur of the moment trip to a place the kids haven’t visited, and which offers some history, for a little extra fun.

These excursions may sound exhausting to you, but they allow me to spend time with loved ones, to not stress about missing too much work, and to take a break from the daily routine.

Now, it’s not a secret that it isn’t easy to take a few days away from the office. It’s really a balancing act taking a vacation in our hyper-connected work world and trying to unplug from the office for even a few days.

The unwritten rule is to not work but to relax and play during vacation. But how do you disconnect and escape with BlackBerries and cell phones? Can you just leave them at home? Must you travel at sea so there is no service?

If you must stay connected, then set up boundaries. Decide to review e-mails and check in with the office once a day at a set time for a set length of time. These boundaries will help provide for a meaningful and relaxing vacation.

I hope you can make some time for yourself this summer – to re-energize. You owe it to yourself. And as we begin a new Bar year, I hope some of the energy and enthusiasm you gain from your summer break will encourage you to stay involved, or become involved, with our Bar and to give back to our profession.

It’s summer and the sun’s shining – take a vacation and enjoy!



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