Like many, I am always a bit too aspirational about doing work on vacation. I bring my yoga mat and I weigh my carry on bag down with academic books, starter syllabi, chapters in need of editing.
And, to be fair, I often accomplish something: I get a yoga practice in on my hotel porch; I am very good at grading papers during part of the flight when you have to power off your electronic devices.
That said, I am often disappointed when I pack up at the end of the trip, as I realize that I only did one yoga practice and that there was a book I never opened.
Over this 4th of July weekend, I spent my time in Key West at the wedding of my sister-in-law. I had been experiencing some anxiety about not getting work on my book done--anxiety that's been plaguing me all summer. I considered sneaking away and getting a day of writing in while wedding rehearsal activities were taking place, but I eventually thought better of this, and instead spent the day at a silly and raucous pool party with some of my sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law.
As academics, I think we often have trouble taking a proper "break;" in yoga terms, this may mean that we struggle to be fully "present" in the non-work aspects of our lives--class prep and writing pressures are always dragging us back into the fray.
Ideally, this is why daily writing practice is so important. It gives us a trajectory of work that should allow us to truly vacation when on vacation; to attend to family when with family.
Additionally, truly embracing non-work (oh yeah, it's called play) re-energizes, re-charges our batteries so that we have the strength to continue our practice during regular work time.
Get a Life, PhD
The Professor is In
The Thesis Whisperer
Tenure, She Wrote