Friday Link Love

Just a few this week:

Shakespeare in Celebrity Voices (youtube)

This has been making the rounds—impressionist Jim Meskimen does Clarence’s speech from Richard III with a few dozen voices. It’s just fun.

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Tinkering in the Studio

Neat picture of Buckminster Fuller, and some fun thoughts from the Improvised Life folks on tinkering, which has been a Sabbath activity for our family this year.

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Ten Mindful Ways to Use Social Media

Good list. One example:

5. Experience now, share later.
It’s common to snap a picture with your phone and upload it to Facebook or email it to a friend. This overlaps the experience of being in a moment and sharing it. It also minimizes intimacy, since your entire audience joins your date or gathering in real time. Just as we aim to reduce our internal monologues to be present, we can do the same with our digital narration.

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America Avoids Vacation

Some 25 percent of Americans and 31 percent of low-wage earners get no vacation at all anymore, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

and yet:

Performance increases after a vacation, with reaction times going up 40 percent. Vacations cure burnout, the last stage of chronic stress and something very difficult to shake. Burned-out employees are a major liability to effective performance.

She also argues that many people avoid a truly restorative vacation (as opposed to a go-go-go one) because of the emotional upheaval and examination that can occur when we stop and spend time with our crazy selves. She gets dinged in the comments for this, with people saying “I don’t take vacation because I don’t have the option to do so, it’s not some bogus woo-woo spiritual thing!” I think both can be true—many people don’t receive vacation benefits, and others receive them but don’t feel like they can take them. But I also think there’s a lot of numbing going on.

What’s your experience? Do you receive vacation benefits? Do you use them all? If not, why not?

Have a good weekend everyone!

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5 thoughts on “Friday Link Love

  1. Keith Snyder says:

    I don’t think I know anyone who gets a vacation.

    No one who owns their own business receives vacation benefits. You either have enough money to go without income for a week or you don’t. In this economy, I think you’re going to find more of the latter. (True for me.)

    Corporate workers who do receive vacation benefits still have to come up with enough money to take the actual vacation, not just the time off. In this economy, I doubt a lot of people can do it. That leaves not going anywhere and being creative near home, which for some (read: “my wife”) is simply not relaxing.

    In addition, those vacation days may already have been chewed up by use as sick days once the real ones run out, or the need to pick up a child from school after a biting incident, or the fact that the VP needs that PowerPoint presentation finished by Monday even though the ^%$ jerk was supposed to have had the materials ready Wednesday and it’s now Friday and you’ll have to cancel your plans this weekend, and no, you’re not getting comp time for it because you’re on salary and the law says we can do Absolutely Anything We Want To You, Including Not Pay You If Payroll Gets A Little Tough. (Yes, that is true. Over a certain not-very-high non-hourly income, you’re not protected. Call your department of labor.)

    I think if corporations cared about employee burnout, their employees would be more likely to take vacations.

    However, corporations do not care about employee burnout. They also don’t care about efficiency. They claim to, but what that really means is a sort of 50% running average with plausible ass-covering so middle management doesn’t look bad to upper management. So yeah, vacations. Wouldn’t it be nice.

  2. I have a different take on the “experience now, share later” advice. Yes, I often step outside experiencing a moment in order to snap a pic of Hunter while we’re doing something, then immediately send it to a saved list of FBook and email addresses of family with a short caption.

    The thing is, it takes me a minute and a half to do so, and then I return to being in the moment.

    If I don’t do that, then part of my mind separates itself from the experience, trying to hold onto specific parts of the memory with the intent, “I need to remember this in order to share it later.” I find that to be more off-putting than the snap and send, because not only does it take away from being fully present that much longer, but it potentially interferes with the “later” part of my life that I have to interrupt in order to share what happened before.

    • MaryAnn says:

      I do a little of both (what you suggest and what the tip suggests). It’s been one of the interesting dimensions of Sabbath this year when it comes to small tasks that are ‘work.’ Sometimes it’s better just to get them out of the way and not waste any more psychic energy on it. Other times that takes me out of the moment and it’s hard to get back in.

      My compromise is a “parking lot” which is a list where I put things that I need to do later, once Sabbath is over. So it’s not nagging at me and taking up brain space, but nor is it something I’m ceasing my rest and play in order to do.

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