Enjoying Our Brief Summer
Keeping the Beach Sacred to Fun
Ah, the good old summertime. It seems to me that in years past, most people could take time from their jobs to enjoy something of summer. Most industries slowed down, schedules were flexible and people, on the whole, could get out and have some fun. Families took vacations, kids played outside and the cottage got its year’s worth of use in three months.
Then came technology and global competition and everything else that has happened in the last twenty years to increase the pace and pressure of our jobs. Technology was supposed to free us from the bonds of work, make us more efficient and grant us more free time. Now we can access the Internet by satellite on the dock, cellphone, pager or Blackberry at our side – the office meets the lake.
Rather than slowing down over the summer, most industries continue at their regular breakneck pace in order to compete. Everything now needs to be done “just in time”. And, of course, while it may be summer here, somewhere in the world it is winter and our clients and/or competition require our attention. Even many schools are now offering summer programs – particularly career colleges that offer year-round enrolment and course start dates.
Of course, much of this is outside of our control. The world has become a smaller place where time zones and date lines don’t matter as much any more. Such is the nature of business today. Still, we owe it to ourselves to take those few minutes in the sun, on the dock, the beach or at the park, and to feel the warmth on our face, minds empty of the stresses of work. Sure, maybe we can’t take a two-week cottage vacation. But drop-kicking the laptop, the cellphone, and the pager for two delightful days of watching boats go by and children build sandcastles can do wonders for recharging our mental and physical batteries.
We shouldn’t feel guilty about giving ourselves that little gift; I know I won’t. Believe me when I say that my family and my co-workers will like me all the better for it! Look for me at the beach – I’ll be the one with the cooler of drinks and the pile of mystery novels.