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Enjoying vacations in anticipation

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In a previous life before I gave up the grueling life of an entertainer for the grueling life of a journalist, I attended a DJ industry workshop called PHDJ. It was put on by two of the wedding DJ industry greats, a friend of mine named Joe Bunn and DJ training guru Mike Walter.

Joe is a Wilson native who operates Joe Bunn DJ Company in Raleigh, a company he has owned since 1986, the same year I got into the industry. Joe is what you might call a marketing genius — there really is no other way to describe what he does.

Mike is a guy I was meeting for the first time. He owns Elite Entertainment in New Jersey and is one of the most respected DJs in the wedding industry. He has written various books on recruiting and training and day-to-day operations — if you are a wedding DJ; you wanna be like Mike.

This column, however, is not about DJing or workshops or even weddings. It is about a small lesson that Mike Walter taught at that PHDJ workshop five years ago that really hit home. It was a few minutes spent talking about, of all things, going on vacation.

He had a PowerPoint of all the attendees that included a picture from our individual social media pages showing us smiling and having a good time doing something besides entertaining a crowd. His message that day for those few minutes was pretty simple — if you want to be happy, always have your next vacation planned.

I was stunned. Here was this guy who by all accounts is a workaholic telling us to make sure to have our next vacation planned by the end of the vacation coming up. Once he started to explain the thought behind it, it was clear: If you are in a job that demands tons of your time — and let’s face it, that’s is pretty much anyone with a job — then it’s important to have something you are working toward besides a paycheck, something to look forward to, some “you” time spent with the family or special someone who watches you trudge out the door to bring home that paycheck.

I decided to put that thought into practice and we started planning our vacations a year out, or as close to it as we could — and boy, was he right.

Even on years when all we did was spend a week in Atlanta visiting my dad, the fact that there was a date in sight, a week that I got to walk away and say “it’s my turn to enjoy life for a few days” made the workweeks seem quicker, the stress load seem lighter. There was an end in sight, a set week of recharge.

I am now a firm believer in planning your next vacation to keep your sanity in check. Whether you are grabbing a tent and heading to a state park for the weekend or hopping a flight to Hawaii, put it on the calendar and stick to that date. Dream about the fun you will have listening to the frogs and crickets all night until you finally get to set out for your recharge. If you feel like really overachieving, go ahead and start planning that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Dreams in Cabo, that cruise to Alaska or the week in Hawaii. Just imagining the fun you will have will do your body and mind well.

Thanks Mike, for that sound advice that had nothing to do with DJing, but more to do with life itself. I owe you one.

Mark Cone is owner and operator of SouthernNashNews.com.

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