The Harbinger Group

The Power of Stepping Away

Our CEO, Eileen Rochford, took a well-deserved 18-day vacation. Here are her thoughts on the struggles of separating her personal identity from work in order to relax on her beautiful vacation to Ireland:

The last time I took a big break from my job was in 2016. As the leader of a small marketing agency, it’s a challenge to truly let go of the business and step away for a long vacation. 

In September, thanks to my incredible teammates, I was able to step away for 18 days! By my standards, that equals a mini-sabbatical. 

My husband and I went to Ireland to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We traveled throughout the east, southeast, south, southwest, west and northern regions of the country (also Northern Ireland) taking in so many different breathtaking landscapes (and dialects!). Being thousands of miles and many timezones away helped make the experience feel like a true “break” from our normal routines. 

True confession – I only checked my email three times. Seriously. And I went on our Slack channel twice. It was so LIBERATING! And rejuvenating. And weird. Very weird. I got over the weird part pretty quickly though.

Because of the shift in landscape and my decision to “just let it all go, they will call me if there is an emergency,” I reached the most wonderful state of relaxation!  Ultimately,  I was able to remember what it’s like to just be me. No job title. No ever-mounting list of responsibilities. No buzzing busyness to make me feel like I’m never truly relaxed, even while sleeping. No self-importance (come on, we’re all guilty of this one a little bit!). 

I remembered how to laugh and how exhilarating it is to wake up without a single thing planned other than a destination of where we would sleep that night. Everything in between was up for grabs, starting with where to eat breakfast. I live a largely planned life and was expecting to kind of hate the unplanned part of our long trip. The fact that we hadn’t mapped out what we would do in each city we wanted to visit annoyed me up until we landed in Dublin, and was forgotten within a day. Which was not at all what I was expecting. And it was absolutely amazing. 

None of this would have been possible without the team at The Harbinger Group. I’m so grateful for everyone’s support and encouragement (I waffled on taking this trip and some key teammates told me to get over myself and book the flight). Most of all I am grateful for my teammates skills and talents. Because they are SO GOOD at what they do I could trust that all would be just fine. And it was!

After everything we’ve been through over the past two plus years, we’re all in need of a mini-sabbatical of some sort. Take one, if you can. Your life will be truly changed for the better. And we can all use a lot more “better” right now.