I Went to Europe (And Fell Behind)

I got a little behind on posting this, and I haven't done that for more than a year. Writing here is important to me, so I always try to work ahead and schedule things out...even if I'm going to be away.

But this time, I didn't.

Earlier this month, Brandon (my husband) and I flew overseas to visit Paris and Barcelona. We had about 10 days between the two places, and spent time visiting places like The Louvre, Salvador Dali's house and museum, and the Sagrada Familia.

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It was wonderful, and we both learned a lot while we were there, both on tours and just by walking around and observing things.

One of the big things we both took away from the trip was the difference in priorities--or at least the appearance of shifted priorities--especially in regard to work.

Now, yes, I'm sure a lot of the people we encountered were also vacationers whose M.O. was to have a good time.

But I have to say: You look around, and most people seem...more...relaxed? More attuned to enjoying life?

They're certainly not as harried. People aren't shouting into their smartphones as they walk down the street. They chat and linger over dinner, watching people pass by instead of retreating into the solitude of their devices. There are breaks built into business hours, and Spain fully takes advantage of siesta hours. Most restaurants don't even re-open for dinner until 7:30 p.m.

Before we left for this trip, I was feeling a little bit uninspired. I didn't know what to write about in this newsletter, and so...I just...didn't. Rather than just sending you another copy how-to or advice on freelancing, I decided to wait.

I left hoping I'd discover something that would re-motivate me to write something worth reading for you--and I think that I did.

This trip was a reminder that in America, we pride ourselves (sometimes to a fault, self included) on being WORKWORKWORK oriented. We grow used to deadlines and stress and "the grind."

But it doesn't have to be that way. And that's not how the whole world works.

If nothing else, I wanted to share this perspective with you. That time off is GOOD. It's important. It helps you re-charge, grow, and get inspired for future work.

I've written before about how I've personally struggled with self-competition and workaholic tendencies as a freelancer, but this trip was a non-working one for me.

So even if you don't have a big trip planned this summer, I'm urging you to make time to enjoy yourself. Schedule it in if you have to. Go outside. Work less. Allow yourself to relax a bit.

Life's too short to worry about posting a blog week late, don't you think?

This article originally appeared in my newsletter, A Cup of Copy. Sign up and get these free tips sent right to your inbox every other Wednesday.