I hate when my kids scream out "no fair" when I tell them they can't do something. Yet, here I am, watching them kick back, swim in the pool, play on the Xbox, and on behalf of all working adults, I want to scream out -- no fair! No fair that most of us worker bees, are way past the point where summer is time for hanging out with friends, going to the beach, heading off to camp or some other "break" from the normal routine of going to work.
In some countries, businesses close down for the entire month of August. Not here in America...no fair! Just the other day, a female accountant described to me the horrors of going outside in the South Florida summer heat in her business suit and having the pant legs stick to her skin. Yuck!
Instead of sinking into a pity party, I've decided to think about what I can do at while working to differentiate summer from the rest of the year.
One of the most important requirements for a fun summer is staying stimulated—making sure we experience new things all the time. Penelope Trunk had a great blog post from The Friendly Anarchist on how to make life more interesting. My ideas for summer:
1. Try a new restaurant for lunch. I know this suggestion isn't as great as taking off and heading to the beach for the day, but having the most delicious salad you've ever indulged in could be enough to get you through the afternoon.
2. Find a new role model. I just made Penelope my new role model. She lives on a farm, blogs about here life and seems to be having a create time combining work and family. She's actually given me a inspiration to rethink my blog design, post more photos and write a book. Who's out there doing cool things that might inspire you?
3. Make a new work friend. I know this sounds a bit corny, but letting a new person onto your work team can make you change in unexpected ways. Is there someone in your office you don't know well, that with just a little bit of effort on your part, could turn into a friendship that would make your work day more interesting?
4. Re-use tools that have worked for you in the past. What have you done at work that you most enjoyed? I used to write about the business of law. There were facets of it I found interesting, but after 10 years it stopped being fun. I'm looking into writing a law article this summer and reconnecting with people I respected.
5. Take a vacation day at work. For one day, ignore phone calls from annoying customers, ignore email that requires an action you don't want to bother doing and only do the tasks that you enjoy. The key here is not to feel guilty...it's just one day.