Summer Reflection: Turning Off Your Work Brain to Soak Up the Sun


Go ahead, turn off your work brain and take a guilt-free vacation. We certainly have.

To be brief, we have been enjoying our hot summer by jet-setting around the country and hanging out with visitors. In the last month, Olivia and I have both been to Nova Scotia on separate trips and have taken respite from our non-air-conditioned apartment on patios and in the parks of Toronto.

I am fortunate to work at a company where I get paid for every hour I work and I am able to bank overtime. I hadn’t taken any vacation since Christmas, so I was really excited when I booked a weeklong trip to Nova Scotia on a whim to visit a friend before my mom arrived on the July long weekend for a 10 day visit from BC. It was really nice to show my mom my semi-adult life in downtown Toronto. I took a couple of days off while she was here to go camping in Algonquin Park and visit family in Ottawa for Canada Day.

Leaving work guilt-free turned out to be easier than I had anticipated. I made sure to let all of my project managers know well in advance of my time off and I went back to work for two days each week in between time so I was able to keep on top of time-sensitive tasks. I even got a report done before I left and delegated my weekly recurring tasks.

On my trips I stayed off my work phone and lived in the moment. This meant drinking lots of beer, going on hikes, camping, and checking out the tides in the Bay of Fundy. I only thought about work once (in my dreams) on my last night in Nova Scotia where I apparently talked in my sleep, loudly saying :

“The numbers don’t work…. GET ME NEW NUMBERS!!”

I guess I couldn’t really turn my work brain all the way off.

After all that vacation, I feel clear headed and ready to dive back into some new projects… On Tuesday that is when I am back from an extended weekend canoe trip with some girlfriends from university.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer doing whatever you do to unwind!

Enggirlproblems update: We are working on some research-intensive topics so we will be back with more on retention of women in engineering soon. Keep your eyes peeled on a survey in the next few weeks and our next enggirlbooks summer read!