get out of town renewal


The first thing that came to my mind as our friends introduced this topic was not urban renewal or some lofty resolution like the rebirth of a city, I shamefully thought of me – renewing me.

Anyone who knows an architect, knows we can be (are) intense; being in practice is intense, owning one’s own business is truly intense. Therefore, we need to be renewed to maintain our sanity, have energy to show up for work, but most importantly, to do our best work – problem solving, creativity, artistry, thoughtfulness – renewal is a necessary constituent. Ask Mark LePage about making time to sharpen the saw.

Taking a day off at home is generally useless; a stay-cation is a joke. I learned years ago, that to rest, be renewed and be useful to do my best work (and be a better person), I must leave my area temporarily, or it will continue to distract me. I’m talking ‘get out of Dodge’, skip town, scram, preferably go far away. There needs to be distance to allow my warped brain to find time to rest. Don’t worry, I never leave my sketchbook at home.


Fortunately, I’m a cheap date. I don’t need a spa or a pilgrimage to an architectural wonder for this to work, but I’d certainly entertain both – even simultaneously. Our family has made it a practice to take vacations each year. This was something my family never did while I was growing up, except that one trip to England when I was ten years old to visit my mother’s family – call it the vacation to end all vacations. One big jaunt across the pond to see family (and not architecture) was sufficient in my Mum’s mind to guilt me when I complained. The deeper answer to this childhood deficit (I think I’m scarred) is not suitable to bring up in this blog.

Our son competes in cross country and track at his high school. Beyond vacations, this has allowed us to make out-of-town trips, mostly for cross country invitationals and state meets. This weekend will be an indoor track meet out of state. These day trips or overnight trips are quick and purposeful; we cheer for him and his team, then before we know it, it’s time to return. Sometimes there’s time to find somewhere interesting to eat (like a real diner). Yet I find that leaving town like this is adequate to renew my brain, keep me from working that weekend, and gives us something to do together as a family.


Do you need time to think? Get out of here – literally.


Please read my friends’ perspectives on renewal below – #Architalks.

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Goal Renewal

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
renewal: #architalks

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Renewal – Re-Ranch

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@BuildingsRCool)
No guts, no glory!

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)

Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
5 Tips for Harnessing Renewal to Advance Your Goals

Samantha R. Markham – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
reNEWal. new year. new goals

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Renewal (at Each Beginning)

Tim Ung – Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
Break Routines

Larry Lucas – Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
Renewal is Valuable for Heart and Hometown

Mouzon – The Original Green Blog (@stevemouzon)
The 12 Steps of Sprawl Recovery

get out of town renewal

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