As you read this newsletter, I’ll be on a train heading from Anchorage Alaska to Seward Alaska. I’ll be accompanied by my entire family – my Dad, my brother (his wife, their two kids and their son-in-law), my sister (and her husband and their two sons), and my two sons (and my son Eric’s girlfriend). All of my Dad’s children and grandchildren, plus a husband and a girlfriend. Fifteen of us in all, heading off on a bucket list type of adventure for the next week. Only my brother and sister-in-law have ever been to Alaska – a new experience for the rest of us. On Friday, we’ll be leaving Seward aboard Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas for a seven-day cruise, arriving in Vancouver, British Columbia on August 9.

For years we all went on vacation together, orchestrated by Mom and Grandma who loved having us all together. Every other year we would all go away for a week to share time together, but this tradition ended about nine years ago when the grandchildren started to get older. Schedules were full, lives were busy, and despite conversations we didn’t go it again until this trip. 

Mom passed away in January 2018, and my brother and sister talked about how nice it would be to all do a trip together again … for Mom. But it didn’t happen because we were all too busy. As some of you know, for the past many years my Dad and I have taken an annual trip together to visit Civil War battlefields and, last year, to take an amazing trip out west. When I asked my Dad last fall where he’d always wanted to go, he said “Australia and Alaska.” Dad is now 82 and I wanted to make this a reality.

When I mentioned the idea of going to Alaska to my brother and sister, they thought it would be great if we could all go to Alaska. We were skeptical that everyone could be available for such an adventure, especially since all of the grandchildren are adults and most are already working in the world. Despite all the schedules, we’ve made it happen and all fifteen of us are part of this adventure, and of course, Mom / Grandma will be with us every step of the way – looking down from heaven with a big smile on her face to see the whole family together in Alaska.

I’m excited to see what unfolds for us all on this Alaskan adventure, and I’ve decided to disconnect from my business, to be present with my family and the experience, and to allow it all to work on, through and in me. Part of that disconnection is choosing to do something that I have not done in the past three and a half plus years. Every week day for the past three and a half plus years I’ve shared a thought, a perspective or an idea. Every day for more than 1,300 days I’ve written something and shared it with those who follow me, whether it’s in this email newsletter or via social media. And for the next week I’m not going to do that. I’m choosing not to write, not to send the daily emails, and not to post a blog on social media. 

I was hesitant to make this decision, somehow feeling that I’ll let all of you down or disappoint you if I don’t deliver something every day. But I realized that it’s okay to sometimes stop and do nothing. It’s okay to allow myself to rest and recharge. It’s okay to disconnect. I’m sure that I’ll be posting pictures and sharing snippets from our Alaskan family adventure, but you won’t be waking up with the Daily Shift every day or The Story on Friday morning. I’ll be back with you once I return from Alaska, and you’ll have the Daily Shift in your inbox on Monday morning, August 12. If you want to follow along on this adventure, make sure to connect with me on Facebook.

Take some time this week for yourselves to think about resting, recharging and disconnecting. In what ways (big or small) can you do the same? Take some time this week for friends and family, whether it’s spending time together or simply sharing a phone call. Perhaps, reach out to someone you haven’t connected with in some time. I look forward to being back with you soon, continuing to share my thought, my shifts, my questions, my challenges and my disruptions. See you when I get back and blessings to you all!

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