Are you actually “there” when you are on vacation? Or are you back at the office?
Here’s a little twist on our “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators series. See if anything about this first day of vacation for a nonprofit communicator sounds familiar…
Before 8:00 a.m. – I wake up at 6 am thinking “Oh no! I am gonna be late for work.”
I reach for my phone to check my email, then realize my phone isn’t by my bed. Then I realize this isn’t my bedroom.
I look over to a bed next to the one I am in and see my best friend, Michelle, who is sleeping so soundly she has obviously been drugged. “We’ve been kidnapped!!” I scream.
Michelle wakes up, startled, but then assures me I am just, in fact, on vacation in a hotel room on the beach. I try to go back to sleep and tell myself, “I am on vacation.”
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m – I drift in and out of sleep having dreams (nightmares?) about upcoming deadlines and scheduled social media posts not publishing. I wake up for good around 9 and decide to clear my head with a walk on the beach.
I grab a granola bar and my phone. I check email and social media on the elevator down.
It looks like someone has posted a negative comment on our Facebook page. As I think of my reply and regret leaving the office, I notice that one of my colleagues has already resolved the situation.
I take a picture of the ocean to post on my personal Instagram account, then sit on the boardwalk and scroll through my organization’s Instagram feed. I realize I haven’t looked at Twitter today either.
I am not working, though. Just checking out what’s going on in the world – specifically my organization’s world. But still. That’s not working. Not really. I am on vacation.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – I return from my walk around 10:30. I piddle around the room for a bit and decide to turn my computer on since Michelle slept in and is still getting ready.
Around 11:30, I am hungry and reach for a package of crackers in my bag to eat at the desk in the room. Michelle suggests we should check out a seafood restaurant just down the beach from us.
I can’t remember the last time I ate lunch on a weekday somewhere other than at my desk…unless you count scrounging the conference room after a luncheon for board members. It’s nice. But I can really only do this when I am on vacation.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – I eat way too much at lunch and even have a cocktail. I try not to talk about work and only look at my phone when Michelle leaves to use the restroom.
After lunch, Michelle wants to hit the beach, so we change clothes and pack a beach bag.
I open my computer to check in before we go to the beach. Michelle tells me to see if I have any missed calls, but that I do not need to check email or social media while we are on the beach.
I guess I can try since I am on vacation.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – We play in the perfect blue-green water. I read stupid magazines that Michelle brought with her. We order drinks from the beachside pool and laugh about our lives.
Two hours have passed without me even thinking about work. I panic a little when I realize it’s been that long, but tell myself again, “I am on vacation.”
After 4:00 p.m. – After hanging out on the beach, we shop at a nearby boutique. We try on ridiculous clothes we would never wear at home and buy new outfits for tonight.
We then head back to our room for “disco naps” and to get ready for our evening out. I make a deal with Michelle (and myself) to only check my phone for work once a day from now on and not even turn on my computer. If something really bad happens, I will get a call.
And in a very bold move, I decide to turn off my email and social media notifications while we are here.
It’s scary for me to not be completely tied to work, but after all, I am on vacation!
Could you relate to any of this? (And if you didn’t relate because you haven’t actually taken a vacation in a while then I will refer you to Kivi’s post – Cutting the Workaholic Martyr Crap Starts with You.)
Want to be featured in the usual Day in the Life series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.