We tend to get stuck in our little mouse wheels, we humans. Our little feet are constantly chasing, chasing, chasing as the wheel of life whirs around us, keeping us contained and focused on our feet…and probably not faceplanting if your coordination is similar to mine.
We’re all so busy, busy, busy all of the time that we feel that perhaps the world will come to a screeching halt if we stop for a moment.
We often feel that we a) can’t spend the money on a holiday right now, b) can’t leave because people need us to be there doing our jobs and c) about a million other shithouse or even somewhat valid excuses we give ourselves not to take a break.
As someone who works for themself, I rarely even take a day off. Sure, I don’t slog out a traditional eight hours a day chained to a desk, but I always have a list as long as a whale’s penis of things to work on, admin to tend to (which I do farking poorly FYI) and am at the beck and call of my email ping every minute of the day.
How can anyone take holidays? How can peeps afford to take time off life, work, school, stuff? Well, what I’m about to tell you, is something very valuable I learned recently.
You can’t afford not to.
Everyone’s definition of holiday is a little different.
For some, driving a 4WD to a remote beach and fishing for a week is their idea of bliss. For others, it’s sitting by a pool drinking fluffy cocktails served in hollowed-out pineapples. Maybe some like both. The point is, a holiday need not be a squillion dollars in airfares and resort living, although that is quite spectacular I assure you after my recent fancy pants jaunt.
A holiday is taking a break from your everyday life.
Recharging your batteries.
Getting away from your multitude of responsibilities with their varying weights and putting all of your STUFF down for just a few short breaths. It doesn’t need to be month in Europe, or a fortnight in the sunshine, or even a week camping. Just a few days away will make a huge difference to your mental state.
After my recent holiday to Thailand with my friends I found myself harping to anyone who would listen-
“I’ve realised how important holidays are. I feel less worn, less like a walking nerve ending and more like I’m ready to take on the world again.”
Then recently, I was sitting with my darling friend with whom we went away and she said, verbatim, “I’ve realised how important holidays are.”
I actually thought she was taking the piss and I’d already said it to her, but no…. She’s a busy mum, working a hugely stressful job that she loves, and she confided that she has not felt in the last couple of years that she can take time off.
She has holiday days, of course. They are accruing away, waving at her but her nose stays firmly on the grindstone and she tells herself she can’t take time away…because how would they cope without her?
Then there are the other people, like me.
When you work for yourself, you don’t get holiday pay. You don’t get a compulsory four weeks a year, giving you time over Christmas and some cheeky weeks during the year (same goes if you’re a stay-at-home mum, when you think about it. The word holiday does not exist in her vocabulary, but it certainly should.)
The pressure we put on ourselves to constantly perform is a very unsustainable thing, and neither should you want to. Smart employers like Google and Facebook are rumoured to have nap pods in their offices because they recognise that their employees are more productive after a power nap.
Consider a holiday a power nap on steroids.
You return refreshed, a kilo or so heavier if you do it like I do, but you’re revived. The world doesn’t stop when you step out of it for a moment, and when you step back you bring a better brighter version of yourself.
I decided on this holiday that I’m going to take another one. The whole lot of us that traveled together decided at Easter we’re going to rent a little house on the south coast and take another breather. Now, as we power through until then, we have something to look forward to (aside from climbing a whacking great mountain of course, however, that’s quite a different kind of – don’t you think?).
A metaphorical island refuge in our crazy lives where we can hole up and recharge before we jump back into the swirling fray.
Even a weekend away is great if you can’t plan longer. A cheeky weekender is a circuit breaker that shakes up routine. Many caravan parks have little cabins, it doesn’t need to be expensive, it just needs for you to switch off.
No work. No emails. No Facebook if you can actually tear yourself away.
Just being present.
Just being real, and just being a relaxed version of you… children’s behavior pending.