Here’s what this day entails in Sweden:
- Raising a Maypole and dancing (read jumping like a frog) around it while dressed in white or traditional dress and wearing flowers in your hair
- Eating herring, salmon and strawberries outside (even if it’s raining) while freezing your hiney off
- Drinking large quantities of beer and snaps
- Collecting seven kinds of flower and placing them underneath your pillow in order to dream about your husband to be
It’s the start of summer. It’s the start of the Swedish standard 4-6 weeks of vacation. This is what used to be called the industrial vacation when all factories closed down for the month of July. It’s the time when we recharge our batteries, collect inspiration and get reacquainted with our family members, including children and spouse. It’s the time we spend with our near and dear ones that isn’t centered around rushing to school, to client meetings, doing homework or making dinner. It’s a fresh opportunity, an annual chance to restart those relationships.
Strange right?! Especially when you live in the US culture of 18 vacation AND sick days per year. How does that really work? How can it be profitable? Turns out Sweden is one of the most creative, inventive countries around with a scientifically and economically proven high standard of living. So how does it happen?
I love my job and always have- even before I became a small business owner. I love coming to work every day, solving challenges for our clients and watching our team develop and stretch creatively. But the thing is, in late May, I’m a washed-out, tired version of the Jenny that comes back in August. After having been away from the office and having had the opportunity to focus on being a good mom and daughter, I come back with a feeling that anything is possible. I have boundless energy and an non-stop creativity.
I think I’ve even said it on this blog before but it’s still true. Time out of the office makes people better in the office. So, skål my friends! Enjoy the summer and make sure to take some time off!