Last spring at a staff meeting we asked everyone to check in with the dates they were going to be gone on vacation. I didn’t have any plans apart for a couple of days here and there for weddings and family stuff.

That night I was driving out to Jenny’s for another meeting and in the car, I realized I was feeling pretty grumpy which is not my usual disposition. If you could have eavesdropped into my mental conversation at the time it would have sounded like this: “It’s not fair. Everyone else on staff gets time off but my boss never gives me a break.” I’m not kidding, that is what was going on in my head.

Then I started thinking about it (again, you’re welcome to eavesdrop) “So who is this “boss” that never gives you a break? It’s not the other staff, it’s not the Leadership Council.” They’ve never suggested anything like that. So I had to conclude, rather obviously, that it was me who wasn’t giving me a break.

Leanne and I love to travel so I started wondering why in the world we hadn’t done so for nearly three years. That got me recalling that in the last few years we have spent our time with family members battling cancer, losing, having funerals, transitioning an elderly parent into assisted living, helping her get ready for a garage sale, etc. That’s where we needed to be, but I neglected some important self-care along the way.

So, I’m happy to say, I fired my old boss and my new one is much nicer! Leanne and I are headed to Spain, France and Italy later today for 3 weeks!

As I write this I do so not only with deep gratitude but a real awareness that many of our Highlands peeps who are reading this would love nothing more than to get away, but for all sorts of reasons, including economic limitations, health issues, troubled relationships, and seasons in life with kids/older parents/etc., are unable to do so. I wish you could come over with us, but they have all sorts of luggage restrictions.

As I’ve mentioned, Leanne recently retired and this is a wonderful opportunity for us not only to spend a lot of time together, but also to get reacquainted after decades of both of us working full time and raising five kids.

Our last 8 days will be in Rome. Don’t worry; we’ll be coming back because I can’t get a job at the Vatican.

Nothing But Love,
Mark