Who knew I needed to unplug from my life as a military entrepreneur?
Well my husband actually, but sometimes I am just too stubborn to listen to him. Right before he took 21 days of leave, he suggested I need to unplug, get away. Even take the ENTIRE leave off – right along with him. I thought he’d lost his marbles and the conversation going on in my head went something like this: Me ~ 21 days off? Me ~ No social media, no email, no computer for 3 WHOLE weeks? I just can’t see it happening.
But kicking and screaming I decided to trust the man (who admittedly “gets” me more than I “get” myself) and out of my mouth came a very quiet “I’ll do my best”. And for the most part (other than a quick peek at messages mid vacation) I lasted the entire leave.
Sure I missed an interview opportunity, a last-minute radio appearance and some amazing blog posts. And yes I was MIA for a conference call or 2 and even let my phone go to voicemail. But the world didn’t end, my followers didn’t flee and truth be told I even gained readership while I was “off the grid”. Funny thing is that I needed every one of those days to get to where I am right now. Relaxed, revived and refreshed.
Had I ignored my husband and listened to my fears about how being unplugged for 3 weeks would ruin my business I don’t think I would be as motivated and energized as I am today. As a military spouse who works from home, sometimes I get caught up in the pace of military life and trying to balance it all with the underlying fear that if I miss an opportunity I will never “make it”.
The idea that in order to successfully balance life as a military spouse AND an entrepreneur I must never be MIA is crazy. This lifestyle is ever-changing and there may not be another chance in the future that is exactly like the one I missed, but is that really all bad? Isn’t flexibility and life balance exactly why we milso-preneurs do what we do? Sure our missions to help and empower this community are important, but isn’t it just as critical that we help and empower ourselves in the process?
So often those of us in the public eye forget that we must walk the walk we are talking! We forget that we need to recharge and de-stress, and we dismiss when our loved ones tell us that we need a break.
I could share so many “ah-has” from this time off, but the one MAJOR thing that I realized and have to talk about is our “connectedness”. For years I vacationed but still checked email or popped onto social media, pretending I was doing it for fun. However when we take a break and remain plugged in, we never really disconnect nor do we really allow ourselves to take advantage of our time off.
Why? Because we aren’t really off are we? Sure we relax a little or de-stress some but we never really allow ourselves to disconnect or recharge completely because a part of us is always working (whether we admit it or not) defeating the whole purpose of getting away.
In this fast paced busy life unplugging is not only important, it’s necessary to our well-being. And trust me you can’t unplug if you are still tethered to your electronic devices, I know I’ve tried it. So unplug and take a REAL vacation, trust me it’s worth it!
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com