Nichole Collins MacMillan

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Bye Week

bye weekThere’s no UGA football this Saturday.  It’s a bye week for the Dawgs – the momentary pause before the weekend of Good Old Fashioned Hate, the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, the day when I can’t for the life of me figure out why a stadium in the state of Florida is considered neutral territory.

So while the boys in Silver Britches take a few days to collect themselves for the coming series of what might be the season’s toughest games, fans can either spend a day relishing in other upsets or catching up on yard work.


I would like a bye week.

Wouldn’t you?

It’s not vacation.

It’s not continuing education or a training conference.

A bye week is part Sabbath rest and reflection – but it is also strategic preparation for what comes next.  The Bulldog’s bye week comes at the perfect moment in their season, and, frankly, I’m jealous.

I’m just trying to turn my envy into inspiration.


What would your bye week look like?


In mine, no new emails would arrive in my inbox.

My bills would all be current, and my refrigerator stocked with healthy meals.

Having those things out of the way, how would I fill my time?


Here’s my plan for a personal Bye Week:

In my Bye Week, I would have a minute to look back on the projects I have recently completed.  What can I learn from them?  What would I do differently next time?  Knowing what I know now, what questions would I have asked in the beginning?  How would I have prepared and worked differently?


I would also have the time to tend to the injuries I might otherwise try to play through – or that threaten to sideline me in the future.  What parts of my body and soul require special attention and even tender loving care?  What muscles need to rest and recover?  What tendons would benefit from a special stretch?  How do I keep moving so that I don’t get stiff while letting this time of rest make room for recovery and growth?  Good trainers teach that the muscle development doesn’t happen on the days you work out but in the moments you allow your body to recover.  A bye week allows this truth to sink into our bones.


And then there’s the attention to what comes next.

If I’m not careful, I can fall down this rabbit hole never to be seen again.  If anyone can make a list… if anyone can stress about what is coming…  I’m your girl.

But a bye week is a good chance to wrap my head around upcoming challenges in my schedule.  Where do I need to place my focus based on my opponent’s strengths?  How do I budget my resources so that there is still enough gas in the tank at the end of the season?  What have I been nurturing that is now ready for use?  This is the week to figure all of that out.


A bye week is all about opportunity – the moment when we have the chance to pull together what we have learned from our past with the healing and strengthening of the recovery time so that we can move into the next thing with the benefit of perspective and growth.


We could all use one in the middle of whatever season of life we find ourselves.


My calendar is overflowing this week.  It’s as if the universe and all of my social and professional opportunities coalesced in this one weekend that the Bulldogs don’t take the field.  This is hardly my bye week.

But I’m going to take one soon.


I’ve marked off 5 days during which I am not making new appointments with anyone.  I’m looking at it as my personal Bye Week.

In it, I’ve set aside some minutes to wrap up a few details and review what I have just been doing.

I’ve scheduled some time to look ahead and really prepare for what is coming.

And I’ve made space for recovery and growth.


It’s work – even if there’s no televised game to show for it.


And if I do it well, I’ll finish strong.


What would your bye week look like?

Have you planned one into your current season?

If you haven’t, can you carve one out?

If you already took yours, what did you learn that you are willing to share with a rookie?


Dawgs and Dawg fans, make the most of your Bye Week.

You’ve got this.

See you in Jacksonville….



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