On Friday's FaceTime, I addressed a question raised by an MNB reader about some vacation days I've taken this summer - "Another vacation? Losing interest?" he asked.
I wanted to talk about it because I am most assuredly not losing interest, enthusiasm for energy for what I do .. but after almost 21 years of doing MNB almost completely on my own, I thought it was appropriate to take a little more time off than in the past so I don't burn out. I just wanted to be transparent about it, and very much appreciate the emails I got back almost instantly.
One MNB reader wrote:
Kevin, quick response to your video this morning. Just for the record, am amazed each day at the time effort and energy it takes to get your newsletter out first thing in the AM. In my mind, I see you toiling to all hours of the early morning every day sifting through the news.
Take all the time you want and need. I look forward to starting my day with you.
From another reader:
My first reaction, had I been you, to your fan critical of the time you have taken off would be "ef you." But, your reasoned response was obviously the adult and correct one.
Like you, I have my own business. No staff. I never have explained nor apologized for the time I took off. Good friends of mine, Gary and Cathy Hawk, have a process called "Clarity" which includes a practice called "sacred selfishness." They explain that "You must serve yourself first before focusing on others...you cannot give (to others) if your personal energy is drained and you have become an empty vessel." They compare it to the airplane drill about putting on your own oxygen mask before you help others with theirs.
This concept at first seems to fly in the face of all we have been taught about doing for others, of being of service. But the more you think about it, the more sense it makes. A drained, exhausted and over-worked me in the end is of no use to anyone. So, I am selfish - I take the time I need to re-charge me, to smell the roses, so that when you need me I am there. And, no apologies for doing so.
As a long time reader & listener, I say the naysayers can go pound sand. Go enjoy yourself every minute that you can as we have all learned from the years of pandemic and we will all be looking forward to your industry insight when you return.
And yet another:
Your video this morning was annoying. Annoying in the fact that you feel ANY need to justify your time off. To the person with the snarky comment about your time off....Shut the hell up! In actuality, I felt a little uncomfortable seeing your videos when you were on vacation....like I was intruding on your time off. You do what makes you happy!
How different perspectives can be.
When you take time off from the pressure of assembling MNB my sense is “Good; everyone needs to take some time off.” My concern would be if you NEVER took time off which might lead a burnout thus the end of MNB (which I think should be required reading by everyone in the food/retail business).
A slightly different perspective:
I am, kind of, in the camp of the person who wrote in. Perhaps for a different reason, I look forward to your emails and enjoy reading your comments. However, your days off are well deserved! Take them as you see fit. Me, I’ll be patiently waiting.
One more MNB reader wrote:
I’ve been listening to you for about 8 years.
DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU NOT TO TAKE A VACATION! None of us are getting any younger- and it seems time is passing by faster every day. If I’ve learned anything over the past 2 years- is that life is short and I need to enjoy it. I’m 66 and work full time from my home- but damn saving for retirement.
My husband & I were on a cruise last May and had a great time! But we both tested covid positive the day after we returned. Will that stop us from vacationing again? NO! I have already planned a week in November 2022, 10 days in late January 2023, and another week in May 2023. Unless we are sick- we are going.
Keep planning those vacations- take care of yourself.
MNB reader Steve Burbridge wrote:
Interesting comment about taking a few days off. Obviously not a regular reader as we know you still have the passion for what you do.
I for one don't resent you taking vacation especially when you are a one man (person?) operation. I do miss MorningNewsbeat on those days as it is a "go to" for me. But, I never thought, "boy, is he slacking off."
Life is too short. I know it is not truly a Latin phrase, but my Dad always said "illegimtimi non carborundum". I'll let you translate.
I did. And I never do.
From another MNB reader:
So glad you are not losing interest! Don’t always agree but always enjoy. I get 6 to 7 daily industry e-newsletters and this one is the best.
Informative, thought provoking, fun and with you, Sansolo and the other guest speakers feels like family. Enjoy your times off!
That "feels like family" comment makes me very happy, because that's the way it feels to me, too.
Another MNB reader chimed in:
No greater compliment than for you to missed by followers…..you need to be able to unwind however and enjoy life. Everyone will get used to a shorter schedule….or they won’t.
And one last one:
Well said KC, you have to take care of yourself first and foremost. I don't think you take much time off at all, considering most people at a job over 20 years generally get 4 weeks paid vacation, besides sick days and holidays.
(Sick day? What's a sick day?)
I'm gratified by these responses. I've always felt like we're all in this together - many MNB readers have been with me for almost the entire run, and remember when my hair wasn't gray and when I talked about my kids playing Little League and the like. (Now, they're 28, 33, and my oldest son turns 36 on Wednesday.)
As I said on Friday, I'm a lucky guy - I love what I do, and I love you all for being part of it.