Today I want to talk about holidays. They’re great, aren’t they? Aren’t they? Well, they used to be.
For me, when I started work, I was actually really good about work/life separation. When I went on holiday, I went on holiday and I had great fun. Then you’d come back and you’d have that holiday feeling and that would carry you through the rest of the year, wouldn’t it?
As I got further up in the organisation and into more senior positions, had more responsibilities, was doing more stuff and running more programs, then my relationship began to change. It got complicated.
You see, I began to realise that if I was going to go away for two weeks, that meant I had two weeks of full on work before I went away to try and get everything lined up and everybody ready and prepared to carry on with things whilst I was away. Then when I got back, I had another week of ploughing through all the emails and finding out what hadn’t happened, making those things happen and getting everything back on track again.
That sort of took the edge off it a bit. Plus, with all the extra pressure, it wasn’t quite as relaxing any more. For a start, I’d be absolutely knackered, so I’d spend the first couple of days just sleeping and recovering. Then for most of the first week I’d still be tense and stressed and it would take time to unwind. It would be the second week before I started to really enjoy the holiday. Then a couple of days or so before we’d come back, I’d start thinking about work again and that stress and tension would start to return even before I got back. I started to wonder, what’s the point of going away at all?
I remember one occasion, I came back after two weeks, and I was running a number of projects at the time, and I found out that when I got back absolutely nothing had happened on any of them. Not a thing. I was so disappointed, I can’t tell you how disappointing that was. That holiday spirit didn’t last very long at all.
You get into this cycle of slaving your guts out so that you can go and enjoy the holidays and then you can’t enjoy them because you’re too tired and stressed but you carry on, don’t you, because you think, “Well, what else can I do? The family enjoyed them and I get some enjoyment out of them, I suppose, and there’s no other options.”
That’s what I thought back then, but actually that’s not the case today. There’s lots of options, there’s lots of things that you can do to create a different life and a different career. It can be fun all the time not just fun for a little bit of those holidays you’ve worked so hard for.
If that’s something that you think you’d like to explore, talk about, then get in touch and we can have a chat.
Otherwise, if you are going on holiday, well try and have a good time, won’t you? I’ll see you on the next video when you get back.