I Took The Entire Summer Off. It Was Lovely. Don't Do It.








All work powered off for the summer.

Yes, 100% off.


I don't recall ever really taking a clean break like this.


It was a special summer

We had a move planned, which is pretty special on its own but not nearly as important as being my daughter's last summer before high school.


Parents with older children know well that this might very well be the last family summer the way we know it.


You think I'm exaggerating? Let's count together.


High school are crowded with work, summer school, and friends.


Then there is that summer before university where she will be technically free for most of it. She will probably want to spend that with her friends and preparing for that big move to university. We'd be lucky if we say her at all.


So, ready or not, this was it!


Parenting is tricky this way. One moment you feel caught in a never-ending day or a phase, and the next moment you blink and years have gone by.


I didn't cheat once

Not even once. Not even to quickly check my email.


It was hard at first, but the nagging feeling that I need to check on things slowly faded away. Actually, by the time the summer ended, I couldn't remember my passwords or even how to get to some of my files.


Bonus: When I stopped using my screens, so did my daughter.



I broke a nasty cycle

I had to stop thinking about work when I am on vacation and dreaming about vacation when I was working. This cycle is exhausting. (ok, not the dreaming of vacation when I am working. That one stays!)


The benefits:


I enjoyed my time off even if it was full of moving logistics and other kinds of " work"...it was different enough.


Also, I have been back almost a month now and I am not feeling exhausted yet. A normal vacation where work was involved would have evaporated on the way home!


Would I do this again?

No.


A better way to go is to take several shorter breaks during the year, but detach completely from work. Not even for a minute. 100% off.


At the end of the day, what happened when I took the full summer off is that I was able to unwind, take a real breath, and enjoy my family fully. Now I can go back to focusing on work guilt-free and with a lot more energy.


I am glad to be back!