Written by Doctor G

 You don’t have to vacation to vacate

Hi! vacate

Last week we talked about the value of getting out of our usual spaces to see what happens when we’re not there. A few folks wrote back to tell me that this is a leadership goal of theirs, to know things roll when they’re not around. More people said this was a deeply uncomfortable idea (I agree!) but that they’d give it some thought.

This week I’d like to look at the idea of stepping away from another lens.

In December, a lot of people go on vacation. Even more people take time off. To “vacate” means to leave something unoccupied. This month, I’d like to encourage you to vacate a bit. Whether or not you’re leaving home or have travel plans of any kind, vacate a few places that take your focus and energy so that you have that focus and energy for yourself or some other priority.

Don’t try to tell me that you’re traveling with your family so of course you’re vacating work. Lots of us leave the office without ever vacating it. We take the work laptop and respond to every email, we keep the plates spinning from the turnpike rest stop, from the in-laws’ couch, from the trampoline place while the kids jump. 

Vacate. Leave it unoccupied.

Like we talked about last week, there are some things to learn about what happens and doesn’t in your absence. But more than that, there is a lot to be gained by shifting that focus and energy for a few days or weeks. 

When I was away a couple of weeks ago, I was sick. Struck by one of the gajillion (medical term) upper respiratory viruses that are running around right now, I could not speak for about 23 hours out of each day. My voice was… vacated. Unoccupied. And I learned so very much from that. So many people spoke to me and I needed to communicate with my face, my body, my hands (why don’t more people know Sign Language??) but couldn’t answer. 

I learned that my voice is my most used strategy for connecting. I learned from some very wise people who occupied the space I would have taken if I could talk. I learned the value (mostly for others but ok, fine, also for me I guess) of me being quiet. And I learned just how many people wanted to help, nurture, support me.

Will you take my challenge and find something to vacate in the next couple of weeks? Hit reply and let me know, and I’d be honored if you’ll share what you feel is lost and gained when you do!

With that in mind, I’ll be vacating this space for a couple of weeks. You’ll hear from me again in January. Happy New Year!

All my best,

Dr. G

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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