I want to thank everyone for your birthday and well wishes for my 3-week vacation. It is true. I didn’t read email for just over 3 weeks. I turned off email notifications on my phone. I had no reason to open Outlook, so I didn’t; in the past I have moved the Outlook icon to a back page on my app index, but I have now trained myself not to peek in.
I put an out of office message on my email signature and went email radio silent.
I know this is a controversial topic.
For me, there is just no vacation if I am tethered to email. Email is the lifeblood of our law practice. I also cannot manage more than one email account. So, I don’t have a personal email account. 90% of the emails in my inbox are business. For personal interaction during vacation, I had other means of communication in my phone (text; Twitter; Instagram). I wasn’t even going to bring my laptop with me, but I needed to make things right between my daughter and the California Unemployment Division, so I logged on once to email out the appeal I wrote for her (yes, she won).
It took into the second week to stop my mind from thinking about work. There is a lot of mental and emotional unwinding to do when you take care of other people’s personal lives for a living. Once my mind is cleared, and it’s just me taking care of me, the rest of vacation is magical days of rejuvenation. That’s why I take 3 weeks off; next year, it will be 4.
The beauty and grandeur of the New Mexico mountains was captivating and soothing. The long drive through Texas always makes me proud of what I do and where I come from. We spent a lot of time in Taos growing up; the ritual of returning to a place of personal history was maintained for another summer.
I didn’t worry about the practice. Our Team managed our clients and the practice seamlessly. We prepare for my vacation and for my return, and now we use the time as a test of our systems and practices to determine where improvements are needed for our Team. The long vacation of the boss is designed to be a practice builder.
The only, only negative was coming back to all the emails. It’s a trade-off.
This year I made peace with my email inbox, scheduled in lots of time on my calendar specifically to read and manage email (we are talking days) and to study each case’s progress. I’m ready to start September and the fall. My email inbox is at zero. I can’t wait to catch up with all of you.
One of the things I miss most from pre-COVID life is dropping into my local gym and yoga studio throughout the week. I miss seeing familiar faces in places that feel like home, and I miss being challenged physically by teachers, trainers, and peers.
In listening to the wellness experts offer advice about how to care for ourselves during these challenging times, I’ve repeatedly heard that we must have regular, physical activity, and we must take time for ourselves. Since shelter-in-place began in March, I have tried a number of local fitness and yoga classes from the comfort of my home via Zoom, which has been very entertaining for Maggie. While nothing will ever truly replace the feeling of being in a space with other people, the closest experience I’ve found is the BFREE Yoga Digital Studio.
Shelby Autrey, who opened BFREE in Central Austin over nine years ago, has spent all of COVID imagining and bringing to life this groundbreaking platform. It is not Zoom! The sound and visuals of the Digital Studio are truly stunning—it is as close to being in the room as you can get. If you are new to yoga, or curious, there are Free Tutorials you can access at any time—I strongly encourage you to explore the website to see if there is an offering for you!
You can try the BFREE Digital Studio for free for 7 days. After that, it’s only $49 per month for unlimited access to livestream classes and a library of pre-recorded classes in various yoga styles.
Take this time for yourself now!
and Maggie May, the Lazar Law Dog
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