You’re going on well deserved, long awaited vacation. You’ve got the bug spray and the sunscreen. Here’s what else I think you should bring.

10-Things

1. Your personal calendar for next school year

Great leaders take care of themselves and should never be apologetic for scheduling their own professional development, family commitments, personal rewards. Yes, personal/professional goals could be put on the calendar but it’s most important in July to schedule the things that will feed your soul.

 2. A parent compliment

Hold it, read it, sleep with it, frame it, keep it in a jar – whatever! The important thing is to capture it and own it. Educational leaders don’t hear nearly enough from parents when they are doing a great job, so the times they do hear something should be captured and valued.

3. A pillow

Sleep on it, collect candy with it, bury your head under it, shade your eyes from the light with it . . . the perfect pillow is highly undervalued.

4. What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn) by Seth Godin 

I LOVE this book and have shared it with many people in my personal life when I want to share a message of motivation or encouragement. Buy 3! Keep one for yourself and give 2 away. Maybe to staff members. Maybe to a neighbor. Maybe to a young adult in your life. My favorite way to give it is to put a post-it on it with the page number of what I wanted them to specifically hear or know. Powerful stuff.

5. Something to facilitate pure indulgence

Be it that book from the night stand, the name of a fancy restaurant or perfect trail you want to try, the show you’re going to binge watch, or just your wine opener, make sure you pack what you need to indulge yourself in what you never have time for during the school year.

6. A pen and a yellow legal pad with a 2 column T-chart

Column One: How I’m spending my time. Column Two: What I value. Fill it out. Then ask the hard question: “How do the columns align at this time in my life?”

7. Unbreakable plans for at least one tech free day

Be unreachable! No phone, no laptop, no tablet. Don’t even wear a watch.

8. A little bag into which you can place all of your expectations

Administrators have high expectations all the time for good reason. But on vacation, drop your shoulders and never ponder who “should” be doing whatever. Your family will also love you for it.

9. A commitment to solo time

It’s okay to take half a day (or more) to yourself. A movie alone, walk in the park, doing a puzzle, a hotel night downtown with room service. When we are surrounded by and are always nurturing others, time alone can be the best gift of all. Be with yourself – alone. Remember what it’s like to be in and around you and your own thoughts. If you don’t like hanging out with you, ask yourself why. And FYI, if you don’t like hanging out with you, maybe others don’t either!

10. Hand wipes

Seriously. I’d be totally lost without my hand wipes.

Happy July to one and all, and may all of your vacation dreams come true!