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In Case of a Drop in Cabin Pressure…

When I was a little kid and my mom and I would fly somewhere, I never understood why the stewardess would tell the adults that, should we experience a sudden change in pressure, that they were to put the oxygen masks on themselves first and then help us little kids on with ours. I always used to think, “Wait, we’re little kids, shouldn’t you help us first?”

Typical mind of a child. The world revolves around us. If the plane is going down you had BETTER get my mask on first!

It wasn’t until years later I understood why the adults were supposed to help themselves first – because if they didn’t, they would pass out, and then WHO would help their children?

When you are a leader, you must also be sure to get your mask on first. Otherwise, if you burn out, WHO is going to lead your team?

A Very Long Paid Vacation

At the beginning of my career, I had terrible work/life balance. I gave all my energy to work and left very little for the rest of my life.

Fast forward 10+ years and I had accumulated so much vacation time that I could take 3 months off with pay. Let me repeat that…

I had accumulated so much vacation time that I could literally take 3 MONTHS OFF WITH PAY!!!

I had enough vacation time to take a leave absence from work and work an entire Semester at Sea for the summer voyage (when they still offered one) for 66 days and it was totally covered. When I got back from the voyage, I was grateful I had so many vacation hours to cover the adventure, but I thought I would never allow myself to accumulate that many hours again. Because the reality was that in order to accumulate that many hours, I denied myself that many hours of much-needed time off. So many months would go by and my mind and spirit and body would need a break, but I would deny myself because, after all, I am a leader and my team needs me. But this attitude needed to stop.

So from then on, I started taking vacations in October and April. I was practicing better work/life balance. And I was taking days off here and there and not giving all my energy to work.

Several years ago, I started to slip back into my old ways. I was watching colleagues and team members go on vacation. I would preach to my staff to have good work and home balance, and encourage them to go on vacation and let them leave early for breaks while I would cover the office. I started to sacrifice myself for others and started to give myself very little time to rejuvenate or have important family time.

Months ago, I decided this had to change and this will be my last post for the year because… I start my vacation tomorrow.

Please remember you must put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST. We accumulate vacation time, so we must take it. Trust me, the work will still be there, but your health and sanity may not be.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Thank you for reading my blog this year. I’ll be back in late January 2020.

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