The Value of Vacation

Sometimes I take for granted the value of time off from "the normal" in my life. For me it doesn't necessarily mean doing nothing, but more importantly creates space for me to do what I desire to be doing, rather than what I'm obligated to be doing. I suppose I've always looked at time off as something that got in the way of progress, but I now realize it is essential to productivity and health.

I have a to do list that is constantly growing and has a lot of business that needs to be taken care of, but without deliberately prioritizing and assuring that the things on that list actually are important and have matter, it can quickly become just busyness rather than business. I find much more value in doing things that are progressing, that are new, that could potentially go wrong if not carefully tended to throughout the process. However, the flip side of this reveals to me that I'm not a good maintainer, and I thrive on new solutions, new projects, and new challenges.

I spend a lot of my job maintaining things that already exist, but I also realize that's a necessary evil so I take it in stride. Even writing this blog is a form of maintenance in that it's not new but it's a new challenge each time, so I enjoy it. I am constantly trying to find ways to make maintaining fun, whether that's changing the graphics just a little bit (ideally for the better), tweaking the color scheme a bit, rounding corners, or whatever.

Sometimes the ratio of maintenance to innovation can be a bit unbalanced, and I think those are the times when I start to fall into what feels like a flatline. I like having just enough maintenance work to let my mind rest between seasons or bursts of exploring new things. The two other extremes are a little dangerous either way you weight it though. For example, if you have to be innovating constantly then you'll eventually run the well of ideas dry because you're not allowing time for it to be filled back up with thinking time, exposure to other ideas, or inspiration. However, having to constantly maintain means you never have to innovate, and eventually become irrelevant or out of the loop of trends and fall behind the curve. Another almost undetectable imbalance involves having just enough maintenance work to keep you too busy to allow you to allot due time to truly committing to innovating (this is the one I feel I face most).

All this to say, I'm learning to manage tensions, some which are necessary and some which I truly feel could be done away with in my life altogether. A first step to this process of learning is taking some vacation time. Time to rest, relax, do as a I please, travel, adventure, and do things that I want to do in place of what I have to do. Allowing this time, will allow me to come back refreshed, and as my boss says, "The world has become black and white, and I need to start seeing the world in color again".

She's right.

God teach me in this time, show me what you need to show me. Show me when to rest, when to take action, when to write, when to pray, when to sleep. I need your guidance more than I realize. I'm dependent—upon You.