When Are You Taking Time Off–Completely?

sabbathToday I want to ask you an important question:

When was the last time you were completely out of touch?

It’s becoming rarer in our culture. A friend spent time in a cabin in the woods where she’s been going for years. This year was the first time it had Wi-Fi. Too many potential customers were demanding it, and so the owner put it in.

I get that. I want Wi-Fi, too. I’ve gotten anxious myself when I was in a place where my phone didn’t work.

However, I’m going to try it. In reality, I should have titled this article, “Why I should take time completely off.” I’m going on vacation tomorrow for 3-1/2 weeks. We’re taking a trip to England. (!!) I’m not checking work email during that time. And I’m only taking calls from family members.

To be completely honest –

I had initially planned to check email about once a week. I figured I could still juggle work and relationships and vacation. A win-win-win. Then in conversation with a friend, one of the most spiritually grounded people I know, she mentioned that she goes on retreat for three weeks every single year. She’s completely out of touch during that entire time. When she shared this, i felt like the voice of God saying to me: “Margaret, it’s time to take a break.”

My brother also inspired me by taking a trip to Japan for three weeks in May. He has a corporate job. He didn’t check email until the last few days of the trip, when he was ready for a change of pace. I could see how the break, and a trip to such a different environment without distractions from home, was powerfully stimulating.

I believe that when we take time really off, it benefits us, our families, our creative endeavors and those we work with.

So I’m making a public commitment:

  1. I will not check work email or voicemail from July 15 through August 8.
  2. I will not be on social media for the same period. So don’t look for vacation pictures from me (well, maybe the best one, after August 8).

This makes me nervous.

What if some wonderful opportunity comes my way and I miss out because I’m not available? What if one of the pastors I work with has a crisis and needs me?

Then I come back to the message, “Margaret, it’s time to take a break.” It’s been 15 years since I took three weeks off in a row.

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, here are two questions I want you to ruminate on:

What is your plan for time off (and I mean off) in the next year?

How do YOU unplug?

You can even email me your answers at Margaret@margaretmarcuson.com – and I’ll reply in mid-August when I’m refreshed and rejuvenated.



P.S. If you are part of Leaders Who Last, you will still get the impactful modules each week, fear not. Then we’ll touch base when I return.

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