I woke up one morning about four weeks ago and realized in a flash that I’d hit a wall. Most days I can’t wait to get to work. On this day, I struggled to get myself out of the house.

No I didn’t write this. It’s a quote from Tony Schwartz, the opening line of his HBR Blog on the 19th April.

But it could just as well have been me, because this is exactly what happened.

Feelng full to the brim, my usually cheery demeanor was flailng about, limp and crumpled, under the heavy demands of work. To do lists that never appeared to get any shorter. Colleagues who, despite me giving my all, seemed to always want more. WIP (Work in Progress) folders stacked in order of importance urgency, glinting manically through their plastic sleeves.

So I booked a trip…and completely disconnected.

No phone. No internet. Just me, my guidebook and some excellent and eminently suitable reading matter, Paris: The Secret History (check out #18 The Book Nook). Four days completely immersed in the streets and gardens and cafes of Paris.

I had no idea how rejuvenating just four days could be.

Tony sums it up beautifully:

By the end…I felt empowered and enriched. With my brain quieter, I was able to take back control of my attention. In the process, I rediscovered some deeper part of myself.

So I am back at work still facing the overwhelming mountain of work but with a little more perspective and my personal motto re-etched in my brain. Don’t live to work. Work to live.

And a whole swathe of Paris pics and precious moments to share with you.

Disconnected in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris

So stay tuned for more from the City of Lights soon…

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