I was sad to drop my sister off at Logan Airport today, but at the same time, I’m so grateful for the adventures we get to take together. From Kansas City to Kentucky to Kill Devil Hills, Kelsie is always down for whatever I have planned, no questions asked.
When my parents and I moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina when I was 18, Kelsie bravely stayed up north to pursue her career, making Salem, MA her new home. Even though I grew up in MA, I spent most of my time in New Hampshire and Vermont, with the occasional birthday trip into Boston for the day. Being from MA but not knowing the ins and outs of Boston is kind of a weird thing for me, so I really wanted to explore the area as I made my way up north. When I told Kel I’d found a place to stay in Salem, she immediately booked a flight from Atlanta (where she and her husband are stationed) to play tour guide for the week. Because my sister is awesome and that’s what she does!
It must be a cool gene we got, or maybe it was instilled in us early on, but we will both drop anything for an opportunity to explore and experience new places or things. Work-life balance is a topic we talked about a bunch this week, agreeing that it is a top priority in each of our lives. Sadly, it is also something that is slowly being lost in our increasingly virtual-based world. It’s so easy to always be working, with email and your phone always in the palm of your hand.
Sometimes we forget what we are working for – a vacation? a lifestyle? a big purchase? – and overlook that life is in full swing as we work through our to-do lists.
Looking at my social media feeds, it probably appears as though my work-life balance is all life and no work, but that is not the case. Normally, I work 9-5 from Monday through Friday (which would make for some boring content). But I’m also lucky enough to work for a company that sees me as an adult and trusts that I will work for however long it takes me to get my work done and to help my company grow. That means I am able to take a meeting while my dogs play at the dog park, or listen in on a demo while I’m driving to my next destination. It also means I can take a day off to explore Salem or an hour in the middle of the day to sit on Pebble Beach with my sister and that I’m not expected to answer emails while I’m walking around Boston over the weekend. It’s all about balance.
Moral of the story is:
- Don’t neglect your work to fuel your wanderlust
- Don’t neglect your wanderlust to fuel your work
- You can do both!!
Take a day off, even if it means using a sick day or losing a day of pay. If your boss says no, remember that you, as an employee, are easily replaceable. There are tons of managers out there who understand the concept of work-life balance. If you’re waiting to come across a big break, your forever travel partner, or the “right time,” you will be waiting for the rest of your life. The stars will not magically align as you’re expecting them to, you have to align everything yourself.
Go visit your loved ones (following CDC guidelines, of course). They will not be here forever, nor will you.
Go check something off your bucket list. If you don’t have one, make a bucket list!
Heck, get to know the area around you. Walk your dog on a new route. Buy a bike from Facebook Marketplace and explore the next town over. Go into that deli you’ve been dying to try.
- This post does not apply to essential workers. For example, if you are the only ER doctor in your hospital, please don’t take a day off. We need you 🙂
- I don’t mean take tomorrow off. This is not urgent. Just stop waiting for something that might never happen. Make plans, take actions.
- I also don’t mean everyone should go buy an RV and live out of it. I realize that I am on the other end of the adventure spectrum here.
- Lastly, if exploring, adventuring, and experiencing is not your thing, I hear you and that is completely valid. Keep doin’ you.
Get out and live. You won’t regret it.