As you read this, do note that I am currently in Hawaii relaxing beach side, with a Mai Tai in hand, and a very handsome man at my left. Life couldn’t be sweeter.
But I don’t inform you of this location based hurrah because I’m #blessed—moreover, it’s my first real vacation in a year and 5 months. But I want to talk to you about taking time for yourself, beyond mental exercises, because with the subtle wisdom of most—taking time off yourself is not only essential but needed.
Up until this trip to Hawaii, I dreaded every moment thinking about taking time off. It didn’t seem like the opportune time to just drop my responsibilities and go have an island adventure away from my Gmail. The mindset I adopted was to keep my ear low to the ground and keep plugging away—business as usual, time off is when you’re networking with free drinks in hand. But as the date approached, I felt more and more guilt. As a small team and small business owner, I didn’t want to leave people hanging.
As I boarded the plane on my way to paradise, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I deserve to be taking time for me. We often get so caught up in the rat race of our lives that by the end of the day, we’re strategically planning the morning to come. We’re often reminded in various forms of communication that if you’re not working everyday, you’re not going to make your dreams happen. Everything you do is sacrifice in order to achieve your ideal spot in life. We see it so often in aspirational Instagrams that tell you the secret sauce to making it big and being guaranteed happiness.
When we celebrated Bob Cut’s 5 years in circulation—I stayed home most of the day and reflected (napped). I still felt guilty by taking a day off to rest on a celebratory day. So I stayed home, in bed, didn’t answer any emails, texts, Instagram direct messages—nothing. In those moments of looking up at my ceiling, I start pondering ways to market the brand, how to extend revenue margins, how to increase engagement on our platforms. But my limbs didn’t move, my thoughts not jotted onto my almost destroyed notebook, I just laid there.
Fast forward, I’m enjoying the white sands of Honolulu and as I enjoy this Mai Tai beachside, it hits me (again). What I’m doing is productive because it’s recharging my batteries. And may be, in some level of disillusion, it’s charging my batteries faster in order for me to work harder? It’s having to remember that off time is productive, that taking a breather as often as possible helps nourish your bubble and ultimately makes you grow. It’s a learning experience to know that when you physically stop yourself, remove yourself from your work, and pull focus—it makes you a better person for it. So cheers gang, go get yourself a Mai Tai.
// Photography by Nicole Yanuaria. Love our editor’s letters? We send them to our newsletter family before the site sees them. Sign up below.