Off The Grid Mentality

Posted: 2317 days ago in Lifestyle

goneoffgrid-e1411041894501 copyIn this high-tech world we live in, especially in a high-tech business like blogging, it becomes really difficult to disconnect.

It was only just a decade or two ago when you could go on vacation and still be unreachable. No cell phone, laptop, or fax machine. You left a number to the hotel with someone at home in case of an emergency, and that was the last you communicated with home until you arrived back.

These days, isn’t it great that we can work from anywhere? We can telecommute. We are reachable 24/7!

Or is it great??

Most of us are on this hamster wheel of productivity. We hit the ground running, and fall over exhausted at the end of the night — It’s not a sustainable state. Ideally, we’d practice a little of this everyday but that doesn’t discount the need for an extended period of rest and relaxation.

It’s not a badge of honor to say that you haven’t taken a day off in 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, though; it’s great to be a ‘company man’ or ‘woman’ — to an extent. No one ever says on their deathbed that they wish they had put more time in at the office. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. They say that they wished they had spent more time with the ones they loved.

During our “prime time,” when we are entrenched in the business of making a living, or organizing the lives of our family members at home, it is absolutely wonderful to be fully reachable. However, it’s during our “playtime” that I think it’s critical to be virtually unreachable.

Rest and rejuvenation are crucial to maintaining high levels of productivity.

So, if we always have our contacts and emails within an arm’s reach, might we not be as well-replenished as we think? Without the distraction that electronic communication, email, texts, and phone calls bring, we create head space to appreciate that which we have come to see and experience for ourselves. It also helps us to communicate with ourselves, and each other without distraction.

In my family, we look at our calendar around the New Year and schedule our “playtime” in the form of family and couple vacations. In ink. So 2-4 times a year, we go off the grid. I leave my emergency contact info with my family and office, but encourage them not to call!

Because truly, if my house burns down, I’m going to need to be rested and rejuvenated to deal with that when I come home.

So if you’re taking the time and money to plan a vacation, then I applaud you. Just make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Don’t take your busy life with you, because it does no good to live your busy life remotely. Frankly, it’s just a change of venue and probably more difficult, a.k.a. all of the stress and none of the conveniences.

Wishing you much rest and relaxation, OFF the grid!

Let The Sun Shine

Posted: 2352 days ago in Lifestyle


What is it with all the people on the beach wearing Hazmat suits, huddling under umbrellas?

I’m sure they also have sunscreen on with SPF 200, or something. Puhhh-lease people! These folks are more afraid of getting a little sun shine than they are of nuclear contamination.

I get it: overexposure to the sun is not a good thing. It can lead to skin cancer and premature aging. And since we’ve pretty much destroyed our ozone layer, rays today are quite likely more damaging than when us Gen X’ers were kids.

let the sun shineHowever, there is a happy medium. 15-minutes or so of UNPROTECTED sun exposure on a daily basis gives our bodies a nice, healthy dose of Vitamin D. In our practice, we see waaaaaaay more issues with Vitamin D deficiency than we do with sun overexposure. (Fatigue, muscle weakness, cramping, joint pain, chronic pain, weight gain, depression….just to name a few Vitamin D deficiency symptoms).

Additionally, have you read the ingredients on some of those sunscreens? We might be minimizing harmful rays, but our bodies are absorbing all of those chemicals, which I can only believe has its own set of consequences, yet to be determined.

What’s a girl to do? Definitely use some good-quality, non-toxic sounding sunscreen on a regular basis. If you are dashing around town, maybe forgo it to get some Vitamin D, if you are so inclined. For a day at the beach? Definitely wear it for most of the day. I change it up with a wide-brimmed hat occasionally – as much for style as function! – and reading under the umbrella when I need a break. I also visit my dermatologist once or twice a year for full-body scans, and you should too.

Bottom line is, be reasonable. Avoid getting burned, and try not to look like leather at the end of the summer.

But a little healthy glow? Go for it!

Portland, Maine: A Great Getaway

Posted: 2647 days ago in Lifestyle

portland_maineI think I left a little piece of my heart in Portland. 

Braden and I went for our 5th anniversary trip and absolutely hated leaving.

To start, the airport is just a quick 15 minute taxi ride from downtown – not bad at all. From there, our ferry ride over was just lovely, with seals popping their heads out to say hello along the way. Not to mention, the views were absolutely breathtaking.

maineEverything is Portland is über-accessible, plus there’s plenty of public transportation readily available, so we nixed the rental-car and opted to walk everywhere. This came in handy because in the 3 ½ days we were there, we ate at about 18 restaurants! He and I figured out pretty quickly that they know how to do food in Portland, and we wanted to experience as many places as we could!

Our M.O.? Sit at the bar and ask the bartender to bring us his favorite appetizer – or ask the local food truck for their most popular item. Let’s just say, we were never disappointed! 

Among our favorite things:

Lest I eat myself into oblivion, I sought out some additional activity to balance out the over-indulgence. Let me tell you, Yoga in Portland, rules! The instructors at Lila kicked my butt. Hubby and I also biked around Peaks Island, where we had a decent workout on their hilly 4.5 mile loop.

It was one of our best trips ever!

Let me hear about some of your favorite getaway places. I’ll be sure to put them on my bucket list, as I suggest you do for Portland, ME!

Travel Like a Local

Posted: 2666 days ago in Lifestyle

tlal3I get homesick when I stay in hotels. There’s something about that climate-controlled air and generic décor that freaks me out – and makes me long for the comforts of home. Whether I’m staying at the Ritz or a Hampton Inn, they look the same in Hawaii as they do in Holland.

Traveling is not fun when you are homesick, so what’s the point, right?

Years ago, I discovered that renting condos or houses when traveling is a great choice. You instantly double or quadruple your space (often for the same price), and get a much more authentic experience.

We took the girls to Spain for two weeks when they were pretty young. Instead of tripping over each other in a hotel room and eating a generic breakfast, we had a three-bedroom apartment in Barcelona within walking distance of many local cafes where the shopkeepers served the girls “churros con chocolate” every morning. Yeah, you have to forgo the daily maid and room service, but somehow having a laundry room and kitchen makes up for that (not that you need to cook or clean on vacation, but those things come in very handy!).

I wouldn’t trade feeling like a local for any hotel amenity. You won’t even feel the absence of the on-site spa or gym because you can find the best massage therapists or yoga studios online in minutes.

Since the Spain trip, we’ve rented homes in every conceivable area: big cities, small towns, on islands and in the country, and we’ve not once been disappointed. Here’s one of my favorite sites: Vacation Rentals by Owner. Check it out. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Bon Voyage!