Our last real vacation had been in June 2007, also on the Big Island of Hawaii. Just a few weeks before we left Microsoft had told me that they planned to lay me off (although they didn’t give notice for three months) so I was somewhat stressed. Since then, well, by the end of 2007 I was too exhausted to go anywhere. 2008 was an activism year and I put my life on hold for CFP, Get FISA Right, and Voter Suppression Wiki. We had planned to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at the beginning of 2009, but didn’t manage to train for it and were busy with the remodeling so didn’t actually go anywhere. And then there was CFP. By last summer Qworky was in high gear: we decided to postpone our September vacation because we at a critical point if we were boing to get funding by the end of the year. Then didn’t go anywhere in January vacation because engineering was on a role and we needed to build on the momentum in order to ship and close funding. Then there was all the stuff related to my transitioning to an advisors role at Qworky — and CFP.
So by the time we got to Waikoloa on Hawaii at the end of June we were really really ready for a vacation.
It was great: sunsets, snorkeling, malasadas and Waimea tomotaos, driving around in a convertible listening to mix CDs, fireworks on the 4th, seeing John Keawe over dinner at Bamboo in Hawi, ziplining, being on a boat … what’s not to like? And I slept eight hours a night for the first time since 2003. Yay! Hmm, do you think the lack of stress might have something to do with it?
We came back early this week so that D could get ready for ComiCon, but I stayed in vacation mode, took the rest of the week mostly off … and continued to sleep well and be in a great mood. How much of this can I sustain as I reengage? It feels like I’ve discovered a rhythm that works well for me, know the kind of environment I need in order to be happy and successful, and see some good opportunities to reduce stress going forward.
I know that I’m more productive if I eat something for breakfast. I sleep and feel better if I get some physical exercise. My quality of life is much higher when I spend most of my time in positive and primarily-female environments, engage my creative side, minimize interactions with negative and control-oriented people, avoid email, hang out with my close friends, and have a lot of art, beauty, and passion in my life. None of these appear to defy the laws of physics.
Easy to say, of course. Still when I think about it, if I really want to prioritize reducing stress, there are plenty of opportunities for progress. I had dinner with one a friend last night and chatted with a couple of Goddesses on Facebook. This morning I made myself breakfast before working on this post. This afternoon I might do some writing. Tomorrow on my “first day back” maybe I’ll take a quick pass through my email, archive everything I don’t respond to, and start with a completely clean inbox.
And we won’t wait three years for our next vacation.
Beautiful Hula Dancer, John Keawe