Features | Reflections

July Reflections: On Giving Time

I’m nominating my mom for a Getaway.

All my life, she has worked on the factory floor of wood products factories. For twenty years she made the oriented strand board (OSB) that is often used to build the floors, walls and ceilings of wood-frame buildings like our tiny cabins. After that factory shut down following the 2008 recession, mom went back to school. She and I graduated from college in the same year, 2010. After she worked hard to earn her degree in business she realized that she missed her old work life, and took a job at the factory across from her old one — this time making the 2x4s and 2x6s that the OSB sheathing gets nailed to.

She likes her work, but in my view she works too hard. She and her colleagues work 12-hour days and constantly switch shifts: a stretch of working all day long is followed by another stretch of working all night. A lot of the work is done outside, and in the dead of Minnesota winter that means it is done in temperatures that can exceed 30 or 40 degrees below zero.

I am not complaining on her behalf. She wouldn’t complain, and wouldn’t be happy with me for doing so. But nonetheless my mom and her work ethic are my regular reminder that we all need breaks — it is not just those of us who live in cities, or spend too much time connected to inboxes and conference call lines that need time off. It is all of us. Leisure time is important and necessary. Time spent not working is core to what it means to be human, and to making the most of “this one wild and precious life,” to borrow from Mary Oliver.

This month, the team and I are excited to announce our Nominate a Friend program. With this program, we want to make sure that people who wouldn’t think of or be able to Getaway have the chance to benefit from time spent disconnected in nature. At least one person a month who is nominated by a friend or family member will be selected to go on a Getaway.

It’s a very small gesture on our part, but it is important to me that we help more and more people take mindful escapes.

Do you know someone who would really benefit from the time and space to do absolutely nothing? Nominate them here.

Be Well,