Going on a trip should be fun and a good excuse to buy a new outfit. If you asked my mother and three sisters, a trip of unloading junk and selling it on the side of the highway is not fun nor would buying a 10-year-old, 1 ton, 5.4 liter V-8, 15-passenger van to do this next week, qualify as a chic outfit. What do they know? I know my 80 year-old, retired-engineer dad thought it was fun looking at used vans with me, not to mention it's his kind of outfit. It's complex, the son you didn't get, but didn't really want, that is still your daughter/child driving 1300 miles in an old van next week. He has that look on his face that says, I know cars and this one stinks, but for the right price? My daughter is crazy, thank God I'm here. This has made his day. But, the owning that spur of the moment decision-making and make-fun-work habit might by his genes? That's another story. He crossed an ocean with probably as much forethought and blind ambition. Did fun enter his mind? in between working like a dog? What if all he needed was the right manual?
My inner Martha Stewart says work and play is entrepreunerial, you just need a little multi-tasking manual to make it fun. The Fourth of July is ideal for this vacation. Your kid has to be collected from sailing camp and couch surfing in paradise, you have to find a van, pack it and do a show next week, just put the pieces in order. Simple engineering logic and plenty of time for fun! Just don't over do it! In a 48-hour plan, one needs two eight-hour stretches of sleeping time. You know two spots with queen pillow tops and 400-count cotton sheets that will cost you nothing. Suggest your company will make their holiday. Sound completely fried if they waffle.
Work up to the minute that the highways shut down on Friday. Grab bathing suit, toothbrush, vodka on the counter, don't forget old dog. Expect that one of the two last vans on the way to your first night's accommodation will be perfect. One just so happens to belong to an old client you liked, send plea out to the universe and to the ghost of the Big Three Gods. Your sister's spacious arts-and-crafts home in Kalamazoo is a sure thing, separate dogs, break out vodka, retire to the porch for cocktails, sleep. Her husband Rodger owns the original Heritage Co. store, shop there before you have to pick up your child. This feels like work, so make fun stop for berry picking on the way. Rodger knows mulberry tree 5 blocks away. With less than an hour, inspire genius. There's three of us, some kitchen bowls and a rain poncho in the car. Two people hold the poncho like a funnel, slip bowl in the poncho's neck, another shakes the branches, genius engineering. Laugh your way to a peck of free sweet berries, go to work.
On the highway by noon, expect the unexpected accident/road shut down by two, take uncharted tree-lined road where your car stopped. Promise you'll get for GPS next time, turn left. Be delighted by a sparkling lake on the right and the antique store in the middle of no where. Turn around in the next parking lot where the local girl scouts happen to have a dog wash stand. Drop the old dog off in the hot lot with the darling girls and make donation, go to work, collect fresh dog, take pictures, that's fun, continue. Child pick-up delayed, stop for homemade burgers at roadside grill, disregard smell, enjoy burger. Arrive at friend's home in paradise, hug your child, join adults for cocktails on the deck. It's really hot in the late afternoon heat, put on suits, jump in Lake Michigan, leave as not-so-fun mosquito party starts. Retire to the aforementioned hotel-like accommodations, sleep. Wake up and leave by noon, buy van from old client, rekindle friendship. Have fun firing off business possibilities as you peel off your last dollar. Stop on the way home for family party, eat, always fun when your other sister is cooking, endure fireworks, go home, sleep is the new fun.
Stay tuned for next weeks productive and fun work/play retreat workout to the East Coast!