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Email at the Beach—How Plugged In Should You Be?

An email in time saves peace of mind, but does it make sense to answer your messages on vacation?

I was having lunch at in Los Altos last week after yoga class, and the subject of vacation email came up.

Paula Rini was wondering whether or not a person can truly unwind and connect to the place where they are vacationing if they check email several times a day. said she likes to check her email daily, wherever she is, because otherwise too much mounts up.           

I love to interact with my email on vacation! What a tremendous luxury, to be able to connect with loved ones and colleagues while far away.

The farther away I am, the more I like to check that everything is OK back home, and let people know that I am OK. My husband, as nerdy as I am, also enjoys checking his mail—we both like to spend some vacation time staring at a computer. It’s fun for us, relaxing. In Thailand, India, and Nepal, the Internet connection to our normal lives helped us steady our minds for a barrage of non-normal experience.

There were times we traveled beyond the reach of the Internet and that was refreshing, but only for a couple of days.

A lot of people in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills have important jobs involving a constant flow of decisions that need to be made. I am not one of those people.

However, I can sympathize with their situations. If they get completely away, they return to email that takes days to untangle and blooming problems that could have been nipped in the bud. A few vacation moments spent working can make workplace re-entry easier. Walking into the workplace after a week or more of complete absence can explode all the peace created by the vacation.

Of course too much is too much. You don’t want to miss your vacation by working all day. You don’t want to spend too much time with your spouse looking at the back of your head while you look at your smart phone.

But we are a town full of computer and communications pioneers. We love our work. We like to stay connected to work. Balancing email and vacation is something we can do.  

An email in time saves peace of mind.

Pam Walatka teaches yoga, which must be done by being present, through the Los Altos Hills Parks and Recreation. Pam’s Yoga Fitness class starts a new 8-week session this Wednesday, June 22. See pamwalatka.com. Contact Pam at pamwalatka@yahoo.com or see Pam Portugal Walatka Writings on FaceBook.

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