I am currently living life under the Tuscan sun and yes, it’s as magical as advertised. 10 days virtually unplugged was exactly what the doctor ordered!
Getting disconnected when we travel is something that I’ve always been pretty good at. You don’t have to tell me twice not to work, check email or go online for two weeks. With my bags weighed down with novels, and that good looking husband of mine by my side, what more could I possibly need?
Saying that, I often do find it really challenging to switch off in my day-to-day working life (you know, when there aren’t vineyards and ancient villages to wander through). Not only do I love my job, but 12 months ago I also hung up my shingle of “solopreneur” and since then a lot of responsibility has fallen on my shoulders.
But that doesn’t mean that life need always be go-go-go, and sometimes a reminder to stop and smell the roses is needed.
That reminder came a week before we left for our trip, in the form of a postcard from my nan. In addition to updating me on life in my hometown she also made the following comment:
“I hope you are both well and not too overwhelmed with work (so many people work too hard these days I think; ours was a very lucky generation with more leisure time).”
Profound words of wisdom from the woman who taught me to toss some butter on steamed vegetables (helps to absorb nutrients) and eat fruit before a meal (else it ferments on top of slow-to-digest foods).
Keep in mind that her generation faced World War II and The Great Depression, and they worked their butts off the re-establish life as we know it. Yet they still had more leisure time.
While life in today’s society can feel stressful, it really is pretty convenient. Everything we need is at our fingertips: grocery store visits can be made online, professional workouts can be streamed to your living room and prepared food can be easily purchased. When my dad traveled to England in his 20s he had to send a telegram to his parents saying that he arrived…I sent a text.
So why don’t we have leisure time? Why do we think we’re so damn busy all the time? Why don’t we prioritize things like eating dinner with the family, reading books and having long Sunday lunches?
To a large extent busyness is a choice, but it should not be worn as a badge of honor. Disconnect to reconnect, and commit to making more time for leisure so that one day you can write to your grandchildren and say the same thing that my nan said to me.
Here’s some links to recent JDW articles that dig into this topic a little more…