Last week we took the kids to Disney World for a little R&R .
Or that was the plan.
If you know me, you may know that I haven’t turned on my “Out of Office” autoreply once in the last twenty years.
Like lots of people, I prefer to stay connected. The idea of really unplugging, of going off the grid is … a little, uh, unsettling.
I mean, we have all these projects going on, deadlines coming up, clients who need attention. There’s just no way I can turn my back on all that. So like many others, I check my emails, texts, tweets etc. a bit obsessively.
And so it would be during our time in the Magic Kingdom: Check in whenever there was a little downtime. On the bus. Waiting in line. During bathroom breaks. Believe me, the kids are used to it.
You can imagine my surprise on our first morning in Disney, when I woke up to find my iPhone was … dead. I had charged it overnight. But wait, maybe that outlet isn’t working. So I tried another outlet, and then another … until eventually coming to the realization that, incredibly, the ONE THING I absolutely, positively needed to have working …. wasn’t.
And it occurred to me … this vacation is going to SUCK.
I took that damn phone along with me just in case, for the love of God, it might, actually, turn on. After all, this was the Magic Kingdom.
It didn’t. Not while we stood in line for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Adventure. Not on It’s a Small World. Not on the Riverboat. Not in the Haunted Mansion. Not in the Hall of Presidents. Not at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Cafe. Not at the Frozen Sing-a-Long, not even at the meet & greet with Cinderella and Ariel. There was to be no Magic for me that day in the Kingdom.
And as the day wore on, my feelings of apprehension and dread grew to the point of distraction.
I wasn’t’ feeling the Magic.
Finally, mercifully, our adventure ended and we got back to our hotel room. With trembling hand I switched on my Chrome book. (Which worked.) The emails downloaded one by one, as if in slow motion. And you know what?
Not … that … bad.
No fires to put out. No projects derailed. No client tantrums. Just a few things that needed attention, but nothing urgent.
And here’s the thing: Somewhere deep down inside, I sort of think I was a little … disappointed. As in, maybe they don’t need me as much as I thought they did. As in, maybe I’m not indispensable, after all!
Day Two at the Magic Kingdom and Day Three at Hollywood Studios went pretty much the same.
And each day, that feeling of dread diminished a little. At one point I found myself actually having a little fun.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not ready to unplug. I’m not ready to go off the grid. But maybe, just maybe … If I had to, I could.