I’ve never taken a month off in my life! This was a first.
No writing, no recruiting for my direct sales endeavors, no creating posts or following up. No phone calls for orders (I just took what came in and felt grateful), no suggesting new products or looking for new affiliates. No cooking or dishes, no yard work.
I didn’t even enter my office.
The laptop was more of a dust-top!
So, how did I spend that valuable time? We took a little 10 day road trip, then a smaller 3 day road trip and then… we did whatever the day brought.
Studies have long suggested that vacationing was good for productivity, creativity, employee morale and our overall health. Many workers still don’t take vacation due to work constraints or finances.
In our case, Honey was physically worn out and needed to just lay around and let his muscles recoup. After years of physically carrying his day to day load, walking more than 7 miles with it and the time pressures of completing his daily rounds successfully, he was tired, sore and finally required hip surgery. These days, those same workers drive that 7+ miles and work in clusters. I guess it took the old guys time to get to the decision influencing level to save those following in their footsteps.
Later, workload didn’t keep me from going on vacation, it kept me from taking time to plan a vacation. We would choose the date in January and then, months later, the appointed day would appear and nothing would be in place to make it a good, quality release. So short “vacays” or combining vacation days with other events became the norm. I’m here to tell you that those are just not the same as the last month we took off and were spontaneous most of the month.
We are not big travelers. Airlines have their share of issues these days and the airports are so crowded. There are just too many people around for us. We don’t live off the grid, but my children would tell you we are in the middle of nowhere. We like our peaceful surroundings, trees, no traffic (about 6 cars a day)… so traveling to big cities, in airports, train stations, etc. have no appeal. Been there. Done that. It was fun.
We like to drive. We like to be close enough to see the mountains, the trees, the animals, the local restaurants, the artisans and walk around small town streets. I like visiting local museums, playing with grandchildren, cooking with my daughters and swimming alone. He likes sleeping late, hotel waffles and looking at old stuff. If we could figure out how to travel with both dogs, we would be in heaven. Leaving them overnight, much less 10 nights, takes planning! And not worrying about them while we are gone uses up half the time of the “no stress” theme. They are so spoiled, boarding just won’t work. Besides, they always stink when they get home.
The dogs are big and what I call, yard-dogs. They are mixed up breeds, sweet, affectionate and loud. We didn’t train them to walk on a leash or socialize them (because that wasn’t a thing in our rural home), and they really like running in and outside all day. We won’t be traveling with them anytime soon. They think the only time you get in the car is to go to the vet for shots and pedi’s. Walks down the oil top road are familiar routes and don’t require leashes that keep control.
We planned half this vacation. I put my direct sales business, Avon on auto and we hired our friend to come each morning to feed the dogs, give them access to the yard and play with them for a bit. Then, our daughter stopped by each day to rub on them and hand out the treats. Our friend returned again and locked them up for the night because in the pasture and woods there are coyotes and now, a lingering bobcat. See what I mean, it takes planning.
For my direct sales businesses, (retired doesn’t mean dead) I used Hootsuite.com to schedule all the posts on the pages and groups, packed note pads and copies of brochures to have at my fingertips. I notified everyone that we would be on vacation, left them the website addresses and promised them a treat if they placed orders on the website during my absence. These businesses, can run automatically because they can use technology to get service and I’ll still earn a bit. I just need to work ahead. Knowing that everyone is taken care of makes leaving for a few days, quite easy. The few messages I received on my phone were forwarded to my lovely daughter for handling. She was able to fill some emergency orders (gifts) from my very limited inventory and enter a few orders for non-techy customers in the Avon app, so I could complete it when I arrived home.
A couple things came up (with the dogs) during our half-planning that made us delay our trip by a week. But, when you are driving and retired, a week is nada!
Finally! The day has arrived. Did we get up all energetic and ready to go? No… we slept late, ran some errands, had lunch with friends and left at 5:30 pm on a half planned 3,000 mile road trip! No reservations, just the gps app and an end goal. First stop… Ft. Worth (3 hours), to drop off my favorite living plant. Daughters-in-love are grand, especially when they have a green thumb!
No stress, no mess, ready to drive. Looking for mountains and grandchildren out west.