I love it when this happens. I had another video teleconference session to facilitate this past week, and where is the conference room I’m working from? In the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Perfect.
So I left two days early, took my dog with me, and rented a little cabin on a river with a fireplace. Here’s the view from my screened-in porch over the river:
Here’s my dog, Jave, enjoying the view from the top of Mount Flume:
Here’s Jave not enjoying the steep, rocky hike up. I had to lift him up on some of the ledges.
After two days of hiking my training session began, and I felt refreshed and full of energy for the session. While I was hiking I had lots of time to think about the material I was facilitating and make decisions about my approach. It has never made much sense to me when people complain about work crossing over into their personal lives and vice versa, and about how they need to compartmentalize. I respect whatever people need to do to make their lives work, but for me, I need things to intersect. I need to sit on a mountain top and get creative ideas about work. (And yes, sure, sometimes I’m in the middle of work and I get distracted by wishing I was back on that mountain top.) My life is made of whole cloth, so it doesn’t work to split it up into a neatly labeled filing cabinet.
And while we’re on the subject, yes, I’m one of those annoying people who takes cell phone calls from the trail. The alternative is that I don’t get to go on the hike on a weekday, so why not? Here’s what I want to say to the folks who complain about technology and harken back to the “good old days” when you were cut off from work-related communications during vacations. Technology is a great thing in that it gives us more freedom. You can turn that phone off or leave it your car if you want, but I choose not to, and that’s the point—I have a choice. In the days before we were so connected, we didn’t have those kinds of choices.