Here I am, 18 months post-retirement. You may be wondering how someone who maintained a blog from 2006-2022 could just disappear, but in fact, that’s exactly what I did. For a bit.
When I retired I craved nothing more than the freedom to do whatever I liked each day, with no schedule, no obligations and no responsibility. For about six weeks, I was in Florida focusing on exercise and diet and reading all of the books I’d put off.
But six weeks is really all I needed and I realized later that I just desperately needed a break.
My colleague Jazz Conboy asked me this question during a conversation about how burnt out I felt, “do you get away from the work?” I smugly answered “Yes! We go to Florida to see our son and his family and they don’t have to worry at all because I always have my phone, I stay in touch with everyone, monitor emails and connect any time they need me. They can reach me 24/7.” Jazz, “Well that’s your problem. You’re not actually ever taking a break. Imagine how you’d feel about the work if you left it for two solid weeks.”
This had never occurred to me. Seriously. It is OKAY to take a real break from the work. You can ask a colleague to check in, an administrative assistant to monitor your emails, and someone else to run point if there’s anything urgent. Then do the same thing for that person.
And by the way, I’m back to working full time. I’m in a role with far less responsibility than I had as a superintendent and there’s a certain freedom to being retired and working in an interim role.
Summer is upon us. Be better than I was. Take a real break. You deserve it. You’ll be better for your teams if you do this for yourself. I promise.