Operation Working Vacation

by Stephanie Casher on August 16, 2011

One of the challenges of having a full-time day job AND a side hustle is a lack of time for true leisure. Every time I flit off to some book event, I have to take days out of my vacation bank, which leaves very little leftover for a REAL vacation. As a result, I have to get creative when I travel for my author life, to make sure work and play stays in balance.

I haven’t done the best job of this since I started my own business, because there was just too much to do… But as the obligations have thinned out, I’ve managed to carve out some “me” time amidst all the craziness. Our last “business trip” was the perfect example of combining the best of both worlds. As you know, James and I had to travel to LA for a book signing at the NAACP Author Pavilion. We started our journey Saturday morning with a leisurely drive down US 101, stopping halfway (just south of Santa Barbara) for a picnic at the beach, where I got to spend some quality time with the ocean. It was a GORGEOUS day, and I felt so blessed to be able to spend a few hours at the beach and soak up some sun.

I carry around a tarot deck with me when I travel, and whenever I find a quiet moment, I like to pull a card, to see what areas might need my attention. I was rather amused at the card I selected during this particular meditation.

It’s time to set aside work for awhile. Playfulness, gaiety, and laughter will lift your energy so that you’ll return to work with a renewed perspective and heightened energy.

Well alrighty then. Duly noted. ;)

We were up bright and early Sunday morning, then headed over to the LA Convention Center for the NAACP Author Pavilion. It was a great day, meeting readers, writers, and celebrities. Shoot, I even got to pretend I was a celebrity for a few hours. ;)

Monday was our “off” day, and since they’re so rare, we wanted to make sure we did something good. I hadn’t been able to shake the theme of PLAY that emerged during my beachside meditation, so James and I decided to spend Monday riding roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain, lol. GREAT CALL! I haven’t been to Magic Mountain in about twenty years, but I gotta say, we had a BLAST nurturing our inner 14 year olds! A full day of PLAY– just screaming, laughing and actin’ a fool. We rode almost every coaster in the park (some of them twice), and two of the water rides. Tatsu is hands-down my favorite ride EVER, and well worth the price of admission. A definite must-ride if you ever go to Six Flags…

Tuesday we road-tripped it back up to Santa Cruz, relaxed, refreshed, and still glowing from our numerous adventures… That tarot reading ended up being rather prophetic – the break did allow me to return to work with heightened energy and clarity of purpose. That was an important lesson for me to learn because I’m one of those hyper responsible folk who always convinces myself that I’m “too busy” to take a break. Well color me changed – I am now a firm believer (and endorser) of strategically-placed play. :)

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