How many times have you had to reboot your computer to make it work properly? For some reason my laptop from time to time get overloaded, confused, inefficient and generally sluggish. The only resolution is a reboot. Turn everything off, give it a rest and try again later.
Summer holidays in Australia are the human equivalent of that same reboot. It may seem strange to my northern hemisphere friends but there is nothing better than Christmas in blazing sun by the beach.
We have developed an extended family tradition for the past 17 years, of having a major reboot over this Christmas period. This year I really did not feel like taking the break. I had so much work to do (new team members, new products, product releases, extender transition, new websites and much more). I suggested to my wife that we should just give it a miss this year. Under the pressure from my two boys I finally gave in and agreed to head to the beach.
When we go to the beach we camp. We camp in a tent, with no power, and communal bathrooms and showers. Sounds primitive, and it is – but that is what we do. We sleep on blow up beds that go flat by morning, cook only on a camp stove, keep things cold with ice in an esky (you might need to look that one up).
There are a number secrets to the perfect summer camping reboot:
- Absolutely no television.
- No newspapers and no news if you can avoid them
- No email
- By day two you will have no idea what the day of the week is.
- Phone goes flat by day two – no phone chargers.
- Early morning wake ups – when the sun rises.
- Walk to the beach for early morning swim
- Late breakfast
- Eat loads of fresh fruit
- Requirement to read whatever book you received as a gift for Christmas. It must be a novel and completely non educational. Minimum 2 hours reading a day and preferably stretched to 4-5 hrs.
- Kids disappear on their bikes to play cricket with all the other kids. (to support the reading requirement)
- Play board games with your kids, over and over. Kids love it and does not require any thinking.
- Go to the beach again – minimum twice a day regardless of weather.
- Swim in the pool with 300 small kids who you strongly suspect of peeing in the water.
- Go fishing. Do not try to catch anything. Just enjoy standing on your own for a few hours. If by accident you do catch something – stop putting bait on the hook.
- Have an occasional beer or glass of champagne before lunch. (once before breakfast).
- Take a sneaky Nana nap. Wow they are great.
- Eat communal meals with your friends, in laws (who camp next door) and people camping next door that you never met before.
- Find a high Jetty and jump off. (or something else silly)
- After sundown, sit around and tell stories or play the kids board games with adults
- Enjoy some good wine. Nothing like wine drunk outdoors.
- Avoid shops at all costs. Send someone else for fresh ice, beer top ups and food if necessary.
- Get sunburnt
- Endure your neighbors snoring.
- This routine must continue for a minimum of 14 days to get full value
I guarantee that at the end of this process you will be 100% refreshed, rebooted and ready to go again. Look out 2013 I am ready to give you a fair old shake.