My family has been vacationing along the coast of Maine for almost 10 years now. During that time, we’ve picked up a number of traditions that we all look forward to each year: staying at the same cabin, visiting the same beaches, eating at the same restaurants (side note: if you ever happen to find yourself in the coastal town of Searsport, do yourself a favor and stop by Anglers Restaurant and order the fried scallop dinner. Do not talk yourself into getting them broiled because you think it’s healthier. Get them fried and thank me later), and browsing the same shops. We do new things every year, too, but we always make sure to save time for the old stand-by’s.
One of my favorite traditions is waking up in the morning, throwing a log or two in the cast iron wood stove, grabbing a fresh cup of coffee, and settling into the nearest chair with my kids and a Robert McCloskey book. “Blueberries for Sal”, “One Morning in Maine”, “Time of Wonder”, and “Burt Dow: Deep-Water Man” are timeless classics which always make the annual trip to Maine – it just wouldn’t be the same without them. These days it’s normally my 5-year-old daughter who climbs up onto my lap with books in hand, asking me to read aloud. But, at some point during the reading, my 8-year-old son always manages to make his way into the room and, by the time I finish, can be found perched on a chair next to mine, stopping my hand from turning the beautifully illustrated pages too quickly. I’m not sure how many years of this I have left and I’ll be sad to see them go. These are the times with my kids I cherish now and will remember forever. I hope they do, too.
So, what does this have to do with CME, social media, or any of the topics I normally write about here? Absolutely nothing, and that’s the point. I’m a firm believer in having a strong work ethic, giving a full effort, and doing what it takes to get a job done. I’m also a firm believer that vacation time is an important and valuable part of both work and home life. Some people are proud of how little vacation they take and the amount of vacation hours they have accumulated over the years. I’m proud that I take as much vacation as possible and I offer no apologies for it. I work hard, but work is not my life. That’s an easy point to forget when deadlines are piling up and the To Do list keeps growing longer. 20 years from now, I’m not going to remember that webinar I reviewed or grant I submitted. I will remember the mornings spent reading about Burt Dow and the Tidely-Idely to my kids. Creating these memories is always worth the time.