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FOTOFRIDAY: Today in the Garden

Posted on: Friday, May 17th, 2019
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FOTOFRIDAY: The Struggle Between Spring & Summer

Posted on: Friday, May 10th, 2019
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Kirk Horsted, Okoboji
Kirk Horsted, Okoboji

I’ve been travelling a lot lately, which both delivers the promise of one of this site’s charters and keeps me trained for the rigors of rambling. In the last five weeks, I’ve done long weekends in Kansas City, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Okoboji (IA). Expect reports from the fields and beaches soon…

Meantime, this shot happened during sundown from a deck in Okoboji, a beloved getaway  of mine since childhood. Obviously, the dock crews work harder than vacationers know. Here, hundreds of docks and lifts await their annual migration back to the lake, in a twisted and noisy dance not unlike the spring rituals of the birds and animals hiding all around.

Soon, the weather (and water) will warm up, the vacationers will barge in by the thousands, and summer will spring into hot action. Then the season will fade away, like a beautiful but too-brief sunset. Summer is short. Step out and find your warm comfort zone before fall and the chilled docks come cashing ashore again!

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BITN: Americans Stressed; Kids Over-Screened; Senior Workers Rock

Posted on: Saturday, May 4th, 2019
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Kirk Horsted, Copenhagen
Kirk Horsted, Copenhagen

BreakAways in the News remains a full-time job for several part-time interns. And we are pleased with the latest highlights—all of which confirm that those of us preaching the gospel of balance may be crazy, but we are right. And smart!

  • Land of the tense, home of the crazed

NYT and a gazillion other media outlets reported the not-fake news that Americans are whack (do people still say that?). Yep. Not only are we Great Again, but we are also at the top of the heap of categories like: the most stressed; the most worried; the most angry. These findings come courtesy of Gallup’s annual poll of 150,000 people worldwide.

Lest we cry alone in our celebration beer, other nations’ peoples are also having some bad days. Anger, sadness, and worry reached all-time worldwide highs, making 2018 the darkest year for humanoids in a decade. There are bright spots, though, like Latin America. They bask in not only sunshine, but also some of the highest numbers for positive experiences and other metrics—despite problems like murder, poverty, and corruption.

Career break in Ecuador, anyone?

  • WHO screams, “Put that device down, kids!!!”

Parents, take note. The World Health Organization recently joined a long list of smart institutions stating that children have got to stop playing with their digitalia. Specifically, kids under 1 should NEVER do videos, games, and online stuff. And children 2-4 best do no more than an hour a day. WashPost and pretty much all surviving, credible media took note.

Experts cite some serious risks: Kids may impair development of interaction and social (not to be confused with social media) skills; brain development may blortz; and creativity (and learning) may feel like an outsource-able, rather than personal, pursuit.

Though many of us barely remember life before device devotion, these phenomena are new enough that research is still, uh, young. That said, the findings clearly conclude that development, exercise, sleep, and much more are at risk for families everywhere. So stop reading this story and go play in your sandbox!

  • Hey, Geezers: We need you!

First of all, we’ve got to stop using lingo like geezer, fogey, and old farts. Why? Because we need those folks to work, not nap, what with unemployment hitting a 50-year low of 3.6% yesterday. And we are also in (what BreakAway believes) is a reboot boom of Baby Boomers (and beyond) rising new levels of accomplishment, innovation, and creativity.

Today’s WSJ features an essay by Rich Karlgaard, author of the recent Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed by Early Achievement.” Mr. Karlgaard explains that brains and skills develop throughout a lifetime—and that many people peak in potential and output in later life, not just in the roaring 20s. “Precocious achievement is the exception, not the norm,” he writes, “The fact is, we mature and develop at different rates.”

Mr. Karlgaard uses neurology and numbers to make his case, and asserts that creativity (among other talents) actually increase with age. And that idea that young people can perform most tasks and challenges better than folks with more maturity? Balderdash! So Gatsby was wrong, not Great, when he stated, “There are no second acts in American lives.”

Economist, author, and radio star Chris Farrell has been also touting these ideas. Stay tuned to BreakAway for a look at his uplifting POV and his breakthrough book, Purpose and a Paycheck: Finding Meaning, Money, and Happiness in the Second Half of Life.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Live Music Warms the Soul

Posted on: Friday, May 3rd, 2019
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BreakAway promotes the power of music—to wash away your worries, to touch the spirits, and for daily entertainment. Live music offers one of the finest pleasures on the planet. Which is one more reason to warm up in Mexico; authentic music happens everywhere there—like this troubadour busking for spare change on the malecon in Mazatlan.

If you’re traveling with children, their eyes will pop when a brassy mariachi band blasts over the dinner table. On the romantic side, nylon-string guitarists serenade and soothe diners and sweethearts. But my favorite memory? A wandering trio harmonizing  Guantanamera with 3 sizes of guitars, tableside, on a candle-lit beach at (what is now) the charming Petit Lafitte resort near Playa del Carmen.

Whenever I hear that song, my mind goes back to that sublime scene. Music makes memories…the most precious thing in life.

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FOTOFRIDAY: The Kayak is Back

Posted on: Friday, April 26th, 2019
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When spring finally arrives in the Great Cold North, people hit the water. It’s okay to be late for supper, church, or that FOTOFRIDAY blog post. Just BreakAway outside and ride the warm wave.

Never mind the snow in the forecast this weekend. Everything is right on schedule.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Halloween in NOLA

Posted on: Friday, April 19th, 2019
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New Orleans may be the funnest city in America, if not the world. Where else can you get round-the-clock music, incredible food, incomparable culture, and a party that never stops? A long weekend in NOLA provides a perfect BreakAway; you’ll come home feeling like you were worlds away, and for a long, long time.

Halloween, on the other hand, turned downright scary at times. Oh sure, the costumes were insane. But the crowds were even crazier—at times so thick and crushing you could barely move, breathe, or hear yourself scream.

So go to NOLA, by any and all means. But think twice about visiting during Halloween, Mardi Gras, and the super-popular times. You’ll find it easier to laissez les bon temps roulez!

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FOTOFRIDAY: Pretty! But What Is It?

Posted on: Friday, April 12th, 2019
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If I were an Influencer and had lots of followers, we could have a little contest with this image. What is it? The winner would get, say, some lipstick.

So I’ll just tell you: It’s palms, an odd window, and a feeble solstice sundown struggling to shed light on an icy St. Paul. Thanks to the Como Conservatory, where a stroll always warms the spirits—especially in winter.

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BITN: Quit? Vacation? Or Sneak a Sabbatical?

Posted on: Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
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Covering BreakAways in the News remains a relatively quiet beat compared to, say, Trump. Yet the working world keeps predicting more potential for the idea, like covert prophets forecasting work/life balance atop balance-sheet profits. Here are a few recent stories that hit the Interns’ inboxes.

  • Everybody loves a quitter

Who knew? There really is an International Quit Your Crappy Job Day. None other than LinkedIn pays homage annually. And maybe you know a few people who impersonated Johnny Paycheck and sang “Take this job and shove it” on March 31. That’s the date, BTW. Oh, you didn’t know? Just as well. You need the money.

Anyway, this year’s blogger, Ozlem Brooke Erol, makes a decent case for jumping ship if you are miserable or the stress is eating you alive—and insists that “new doors will open up for you” if you “leave now and come out of a place of love and abundance, not fear.” Delusional? Sure. But such wild words could change your life.

  • Next PTO trend: FTO (Forced Time Off)

Well+Good recently published a post bringing fresh thoughts and stats about the dreadful trend of people working during vacation time. Like, 54% don’t disconnect when away. 50%+ don’t even use all their vacation time. Most people who work at “unlimited vacation” employers take even less time off than normal folks. And of course, the majority of people polled say work causes anxiety and keeps them awake at night. Hey, you need a BreakAway!

Bummer for us. Yet Big Pharma is probably okay with the surge in anxiety, depression, and insomnia. There’s a pill for all that.

Author Amy Semigran offers some solutions, like unplugging—including from SM—while away. The most intriguing, though, is a new-ish movement to institute “mandatory vacation” days. Makes sense—if The Management really cares about employee mental health, recruiting, and retention.

Forced time off. Brilliant. But…will the Boss will have to hire bouncers?

  • Bloomberg sells sabbaticals

Over at Bloomberg, meanwhile, a sponsored post pumps the sabbatical goal—including a mention of the concept’s origin from biblical times. (We did not invent this!)

Assuming these stats are True News, here’s the latest on employer participation: 6% of overall employers offer sabbaticals; 28% of “small businesses” do; and 19% of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For are on board.

One can’t help notice that the story sponsor is an investment company. (One also often finds that behind the vacation-promotion initiatives hide various airlines, credit cards, and tourism bureaus.)

Yet it’s true: Your sabbatical won’t pay off without due diligence to money management. So if you follow some of the article’s common-sense tips and think big, you, too, may BreakAway. Someday.

  • It’s not all about the money, honey

Most Americans work 90,000 hours over a lifetime. So we do have time—a whole lifetime!—but what shall we do with it? While $ matters and remains the #1 reason people work so hard, one of BreakAway’s Five Five-Word Mantras insists: “It’s not a financial decision.”

It that sounds silly to you, consider: You’ve probably applied that logic to your love life, family planning, education decisions, and that fancy martini you had last Saturday. (Never mind the golf clubs or the botox treatment.) So hey, why not try that philosophy for getting away?

You may be more free than you thought. Just a thought.

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FOTOFRIDAY: New USVI Bar is Going Swimmingly

Posted on: Friday, April 5th, 2019
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First, the bad news: The bar you see here most certainly got shredded by the Cat-5 hurricanes that pounded St. John and the Virgin Islands in 2017. Now for the good news: A replacement recently opened, also in Coral Bay, and it looks even better. So are the pics in this article!

It’s called the Lime Out—named after the local-ism limin’, which means to go out and…party! The owners also own a successful eatery called The Lime Inn. Get it!?!

I love everything about St. John. So I emphatically recommend this establishment. To get there, you’ll need a boat. Or to swim well. You’ll also need an airplane to St. Thomas, a cab ride to the ferry station, a ferry ride to St. John, and a car ride traversing St. John to Coral Bay. Sound complicated? It is. But here’s the best news: It will be worth it.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Time—The Trouble w/ Travel

Posted on: Friday, March 29th, 2019
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NOTE: This post may be late today. Read on; you’ll understand…

Few feelings compare with the buzz of boarding a plane. You’ve planned, stressed, packed, and prepped. Then, finally…away we go! When flights run on time, that euphoria really takes off.

Lamentably, that sensation often crashes. That’s been too true lately since Sun Country was bought out by investment bankers who are failing miserably. Fly with them and you may really need the MYBA mantra, Everything is right on schedule.

So does this picture evoke delight? Or dread? Only time will tell…

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