Pack Leadership: Taking a Break

Posted on January 11, 2010

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Kai, flat-coat/chow mix, and Rustle, miniature poodle

I haven’t posted regularly in quite some time. I haven’t posted Pack Leadership in longer. I didn’t do quite a few things over the holidays, in fact.

Then, one day, we had beautiful weather. Not warm, of course, but really clear and dry. It occurred to me then that out here in the Pacific Northwest we wouldn’t get many days like it before…oh, let’s say May. Either my wife was off that day, or I got up early enough that I could take the dogs to a park and get the car back in time for her to go to work.

As I walked the dogs, I noticed that I was being a bit more strict. Behaviors I just accepted before I corrected now. That was, I think, because of the break. Coming back from the break, I was renewed and re-charged. My standards had risen to a higher level. I had fresh eyes with which to see my dogs and their behavior.

I was a big fan of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance when I was in high school and college, and one of the things that I took from that book was the idea that when you get frustrated with a project, you need to walk away. You need to go do something else for awhile, and then come back. You need to take a break.

That, after all, is the whole point of vacations. That’s why you shouldn’t take your cell phone or check your work e-mail. You should disconnect for a week or two. Come back to work with some new ideas, recharged energy, sharpened eyes, and less tolerance for the everyday little things that we all let slip by.

So: If your winter holidays weren’t a good break, what could you do to improve them? Start planning your next vacation now!

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Posted in: dogs, Leadership