What a week! Let me start by saying that I haven’t had a vacation in many moons – and by that I mean at least seven years. So when someone says, “Hey, do you want to go to Kauai for six days?” I take a few long breaths to stop the panic attack that’s sure to set in quickly.
Time to transform. First acknowledge the issue – my fear of vacation. Nothing to do, relaxing, enjoying, feeling unproductive, and just plain unentitled to the R&R. Second, can I accept that I really need a vacation? With that, let’s move to a little liberation and redeem by blending business along the way. I can do this. I can board a plane to Kauai and fly away. Transformation, here I come!
It’s 5:30 a.m. in Eugene and in the midst of torrential rain when I pull into the airport only to discover I have no ID! Here’s my chance to bail. Wait, reality check. This is not an option as my travel companion is waiting for me in Portland, tickets in hand. The change master kicks in and I know that I can still manage to go back home, grab the ID, drive like crazy to Portland and still catch the flight. Racing home, I realize that it’s time for me to stop running, start living and define my future, which is looking bright with hot Kauai sun! On the way up, I throw in a little Hawaiian music for good measure.
I made it, get to the ticket kiosk and try to check in and discover they have no record of me. Alright already! What is the universe trying to tell me? Then, in strolls my traveling companion, partner, and friend. Time to put the running shoes away. This Change Master needs to transform – get in the Zen zone to define a new future and embrace relaxation.
Finally we board. I download the last of the e-mails until we reach Honolulu. Once we’re there, I can catch up and send and receive a batch. I can do this with a smile on my face and he won’t even know that I’m still working like a CEO.
In Honolulu the downloading starts between quick bites of lunch. Time to board – keep that laptop humming. If I strategically have my broadband on my lap when I board I can get those last few e-mails to fly. I hit a record of 40 e-mails in less than 50 minutes! Once in the air I can finish off the last five, so when we land I can get in the airport and fire up the broadband one last time. Now it’s time to shut down, put the laptop away, and unwind for the 20-minute flight to Kauai. I flash a smile to the handsome man beside me. I think I’ve got him fooled since he shoots a great grin in return.
We’re deplaned. It’s so exciting – and then I see the chickens! This is not urban mainland LAX. My gosh, what are they doing in the airport! “Aloha and welcome to Lihue, Kauai,” where the roosters and the chickens have taken over for TSA.
Not hard to find the bags – again not LAX – and we jump on the shuttle to the hotel. I think I really am having work withdrawals. Check in and room is not ready, no sweat. That means it’s definitely margarita time somewhere on this island. We head to what will surely become a favorite spot – Duke’s – for a classic mai tai and watch the chickens run around the resort. Here’s my chance to download the last of the e-mails, while Dr. Wonderful sips cocktails. He’ll never notice. Oh no! I left my broadband on the airplane. A familiar feeling emerges and I can feel the panic attack creep back. Stay calm. Breathe. Be cool. The mission to find the WiFi service begins.
Maybe I’m getting a definite message from the cosmos that I really need to leave work behind and embrace Hawaii, and the man beside me. We finally make it to our room, unpack, and start calling the airlines to begin the hunt for the broadband. No luck. Next, call the PEC team. When all else fails, have Amanda work her magic and find me a link to the mainland.
Inhale, exhale, relax and transform. Maybe no broadband and lack of easy internet access is the change impetus to set me into a new dimension. Slowly, I close my bosom buddy – my ThinkPad – and turn off those crazy electronics. Settling in to watch an amazing Kauai sunset with a man with an infectious grin. Vacation is beginning to look better and better…
Stay tuned for more as I describe how Alignment and Passionate Performance made vacation a newfound favorite word in my vocabulary. All good stuff, because every great leader needs a little rest and relaxation.