Loving your work doesn’t mean holidays aren’t valuable. Here are my thoughts as to why!
Work life/ Home life or simply LIFE
I love my work and I don’t really have a distinction between life and work. I don’t want one. I have organised my life to support the work I want to do and my work to support the life I want to live. I am very lucky. Are you like me – do you love the work you do, or are you part of the 80% of people do work they don’t love?
Did you know that I was part of that percentage once? I had a job in an office, with a suit (of armour!) and computer. I separated my work life from my home life with geographical separation, alternative clothes and a different way of being. I lived for holidays then.
Living for holidays or for every day
As soon as I came back into work from one holiday I would start planning the next, needing that bright light in the distance to help me walk through the tunnel of my working life. Is that something that you still do? While I was there I wondered to myself whether there wasn’t another way, a way of working where I wasn’t simply shuffling from one holiday to the next but where every day was enjoyable.
I am thankful that I have that now. I love books. I love narrating audiobooks. I love writing, both the blogs and the books I have written. I love coaching people and guiding them to a new understanding of what they have to offer, what they want to do and how they can inspire those around them.
And yet, I still need a holiday. Why is that?!
1) I am tired
Yes, I do work that plays to my strengths. I am a storyteller by nature and profession and I feel highly energised by what I do. Yet still I become tired.
My work is creative and performance based. I am making something that wasn’t there before which takes concentration and skill.
I give my all to my work. When I didn’t love my work I held back but now I aim to give nothing less than all I am, nothing less than my soul, to what I do. Giving that much takes its toll and there are times I need to step back and refill my well. Holidays can be a great opportunity to step out of the giving cycle and be open to receive new experiences and energy.
2) Life takes its toll
While I am highly blessed in my work and home life things do crop up that need attention and that blind side me from time to time.
My two growing children have their demands, the routine of school and activities wrapping around work responsibilities can become draining, and the seemingly never-ending cycle of food preparation and housekeeping tasks… , or is that just me?!
Because in this situation relationships around me can start to fray. The communication is about doing what needs to be done, rather than on how people are feeling, or what they are dreaming about, for themselves or those around them. Holidays can be a vital time to spend time with loved ones outside of the normal routine and reconnect on a deeper level.
3) Gaining a new perspective
Bound up by routine we can become blind to the fact that our way of living is not the only way of living. In fact, for every one of the 7 billion people living on earth now, life is slightly different.
Holidays are an opportunity to take time away from our normal activities and visiting another place can open us up to other possibilities and start us questioning how we are living. I find this can be really positive, reaffirming what we like about the way we live and considering if there are small changes we can make to improve it and hold on to our holiday discoveries.
4) Trying something new
My family is heading into the mountains for our holiday which is rather different from our suburban town living in Hertfordshire. We have all chosen an activity we can’t do at home to try with the whole family being required to give it a go!
“We” have chosen white water rafting, mountain biking on actual mountains, stand up paddle boarding on a lake, and via ferrata climbing in the Alps. Some of these are more high octane than others and I certainly hope to have some relaxing time walking, or just hanging out in the mountains, but I am looking forward to exploring new things.
That’s what’s so special about holidays – they can be a great time to embrace a new activity. At any age we can discover a new hobby or an unexpected passion, but only if we’re willing to give it a try.
5) Building Relationships
It’s funny how in the midst of our criss-crossing routines we can forget that our relationships are a source of joy and the place we express our love. Taking time out of routines and doing things together can help us to look at those we take for granted anew and rekindle the love that lives between us.
I love how holidays for us are shared meal times, new activities and minimal responsibilities, which can be a great time to play games together, talk about what we enjoyed during the day or just pay each other a bit of attention. Giving someone you love a bit of attention and paying them a compliment can make them glow and lighten their step. Don’t you agree?
6) Reading a book
This may seem an odd one for me. I read books all the time. I read something non-fiction and inspiring every morning, a book for work all day and then end my day with a few minutes of reading before going to sleep.
But what about the pure indulgence of settling down for a few hours with a book you want to read, not because it will make you better in some way, not because someone is paying you to do it and not because you feel you ought to. But a book that just spoke to you as you browsed the bookshop and looked like it might be fun to be lost in for a while.
Holidays can be a chance for you to find a cosy spot, arm yourself with a drink and some nibbles and let your mind wander through time and space while your body soaks up the fresh air around you.
Take your time
Most importantly holidays are your time. They are where you can recharge your batteries, fill your heart with what you love and nourish your soul with those you love. Loving your work doesn’t mean it isn’t work. Big ambitions and big goals take strength to put into action and we can all find our strength draining from time to time.
So take a break, spend time with loved ones, explore somewhere new, try a new activity and don’t forget to take a book.
If you’d like to take my book for your holiday read, a touching love story, you can find it here: “The Way Home” by Esther Wane.