Always the toughest day of the year for me, the first day back at work after the holidays. Because I’ve fallen out of the habit.
I’ve just enjoyed 18 days of holiday and, honestly, where did they go? They passed in the blink of an eye. And I could use another 18 with ease. I could probably use an awful lot more than another 18 and I’d love the opportunity to find out.
My fantasy is to not have to work at all (bear with me!) and take an indefinite amount of time for it to occur naturally to me what I do want to do, if anything. So then everything becomes a choice rather than a dutiful routine.
I have done that before, between careers. First off twenty years as an accountant, then later 15 years and counting as a professional business coach and mentor. And in between five years working out what I wanted to do next. But then I was only in my very early forties.
And the extraordinary thing is that I cannot think of anything I’d rather do for a living; it’s the having to do it which can sometimes feel restrictive. Mind you, I think this is how it works. If it wasn’t for that driver, having to work, how many of us would, really?
And yet what a strange thing… to resist what one loves!
I am a reformed workaholic, and just like a couple of members of my workaholic family, we adapt to doing nothing surprisingly well. The 18 days off have passed in the blink of an eye and I can never get enough leisure time, it seems. Time to please myself and do fun stuff, though – again – my work is fun too. Is it just that a change is as good as a rest. A change is really good for us?
I had lunch locally with Lorna, then I nipped down to Kent to see Sharon. I went to the beauticians to hang out with my fellow members of the Circle of Trust, Nicola and Sue, and we laughed a lot and I discovered a new colour of nail polish that I like – Jessica’s Antique Silver. I had a haircut which is often a hit and miss thing with me; this one was a big hit. I really like it. You probably wouldn’t notice any different from normal, but I do and I love this one.
I had my own turkey delivered and I peaked a bit soon as I cooked and ate it on Thursday 22nd December and opened my only present, one to myself, a new pair of sparkly silver Converse, an update on the 2015 and 2016 model.
I took a month’s free trial to Netflix and consumed all of Narcos. I was vaguely aware of the real-life story, now I am an expert!
I kept to my low carb way of eating and made a few small exceptions as a nod to the festive season but managed to lose weight for the first time in my life at Christmas, except that year I got the norovirus. I also ate things which are more carby than my normal choices without re-introducing any cravings into my life. #Proud
I went to my family on Christmas Day and had a lovely time even though four out of the five of them were either poorly or sleep-deprived or both. My youngest nephew engaged me in a debate about Jason Bourne movies so I caught up with the latest ones and did some serious thinking about spy tricks that JB misses and conveyed these to anyone who would listen, for fun!
Speaking of films I worked out a schedule for January and February at the movies so that I am up to date with all the nominated films before the awards ceremonies begin.
My nieces and nephews gave me an Amazon voucher for Christmas and I had fun deciding what to spend it on and then a few days in receiving lots of little parcels.
I spoke to two of my friends – Marion and Leslie – on the phone and caught up with all their news and plans for 2017. Leslie is going to spend three months in Kenya and mostly off grid. If she wants to be online she has to walk up to the big house once a day which she does but how wonderful to be out of contact, in a place where they can’t get you, for the rest of the time.
I also took plenty of time out from being constantly online and I noticed that most of my clients did that too. Hooray for us!
And then my friend Susie from Manchester came to visit and we caught up. I collected her from her son and his wife and her grandchildren, kept her, fed and watered her for about six hours, then delivered her to her brother and his wife and her nephew. And loved meeting up with all those people in her life again after quite a long time, lovely people I have known either for all their lives or most of their adult lives.
And honestly? I could keep on doing this forever and wouldn’t need to cram it into 18 days just because I was on holiday. I could afford to spread it out a bit. Like me, Susie is of retirement age and has given up her job and we were both agreed of one thing, we are NEVER bored. We love our own company and have plenty to think about and now she has even more space than me to do that, without work getting in the way.
This ability is to do with having a lively brain which is inquisitive and interested in all that’s going on around us, despite some desperately dark shared thoughts about the state of the world.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not anticipating retirement or looking forward to it even. I have no plans to retire. But I could use endless amounts of holiday and love every moment of it. Leisure time. Personal space. Time offline. Time to think. I absolutely love it.
Typically I had the worst night’s sleep ever last night, on the one night that actually counts, the one before returning to work and yet here I am, up and about, blogging, anticipating a group call at 11 a.m. and two coaching 1-2-1s this afternoon and then helping a friend with a Sage enquiry.
How quickly I adapt and slip back into routine! I found myself dreading it for a few days in the run up to today, and then yesterday something just comes over me when I start preparing for it and here we are. Back to normal.
I wonder what 2017 will bring? One thing on my own personal Wish List would be more of this please, more leisure time, more holidays, more life.