You’re going on well deserved, long-awaited vacation. You’ve got the bug spray and the sunscreen. Here are 10 (unlikely) things that we think you should take.
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 or gift
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
We LOVE this book. It has the ability to spread motivation and 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. Our favorite way to give it is to put a post-it on it with the page number of what you want them to specifically hear or know. Powerful stuff.
5. Something to facilitate pure indulgence
Be it that book from the nightstand, 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. And don’t forget to pack allllll the snacks, from indulgent to brain boosting ones!
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. Just trust us on this one.
Happy July to one and all, and may all of your vacation dreams come true!
This post was originally published 7/09/2015 and most recently updated 6/25/2023