Is there anything worse than having to go back to work after a two-week Christmas holiday?
Okay, I know there are probably at least 53 things that are much worse than having a pretty good job and having had 2 weeks of paid holidays off from that job and that I and my loved ones have made it safely into 2010.
And I’m grateful for all that stuff, I really am, but I’ve had 2 weeks of lovely freedom. I’ve slept long enough in the mornings to wake up to daylight. I’ve stayed up long enough in the evenings to be able to do a little socializing. I’ve spent time with people I almost never get to spend much time with – including my own daughter.
I’ve had gorgeous things to eat and drink and not necessarily at times dictated to be my “lunch hour.” I’ve spent time outdoors whenever I felt like it – not just when I had to race to work in the cold dark morning, or race home in the cold dark evening. And, I didn’t have to attend one single meeting in 16 days!!
I puttered around the house a bit, organized some things, cleaned some things and did little things I never get around to, normally. And, I lounged my ass off. I read for hours. I sat and just talked with people for hours. I even wound down enough to watch a couple of DVDs.
But that’s all over now. There are weeks – months — between me and my next holiday. Cold, dark, snowy weeks. Weeks filled with meetings. Aarggghhh. (And, looking outside right now at the 4th straight day of snowfall (we’re at around 39 cm/15 and counting) with a minus 13 temperature (8o F) and 45 km/hr winds doesn’t help.
However, it needs to be done. The bills need to be paid. University tuition needs to be saved for. So, I’m going to do my best to not make it too horrible. How?
- I’ve already scheduled my next vacation and will spend a little time each day making plans for that.
- My home is clean and stocked with food, my laundry is done and clothes are ironed for the week so I have no nasty chores to await me when I get home in the evenings and no frantic scrabbling in the mornings.
- I cleverly booked myself for several training periods over the next 3 months. They’re 2 or 3 day sessions, learning something I’ll enjoy and that will be useful to me in my job. Most importantly, they will get me out of the office for a few days.
- I will NOT attempt to get through all my emails my first day back.
- I WILL spend a bit of time each day chatting with co-workers about the last 2 weeks of fun and will avoid anyone who didn’t take any time off over the holidays and tries to convince me that I have “a lot of catching up to do.”
- Whatever the weather, I will leave my desk for one hour at lunch time and go outside – maybe duck into some shops in between and browse around if it’s too nasty out and take advantage of deeply discounted junk left over from Christmas.
- I will schedule something fun/interesting for the weekend so I have that to look forward to.
- And, it’s a new year so there’s no better time to make some big career changes. I just made a couple of changes, however, so I don’t anticipate anything major for a while, but I will still keep the CV current and fresh and will still keep an eye on the job postings. I may even look into taking on a bit of freelance work again, just for fun.
- Finally, I will do my very best to avoid meetings for at least the first 3 days back. [Why do workplaces even still have meetings? Have you ever been to a meeting that was productive and relevant? There are always too many people at meetings – most of whom aren’t even involved in the topic(s) being discussed. The discussion ambles all over the place. The room gets hot and stuffy really quickly. I get twitchy from sitting too long. And when it’s all over, a big chunk of the day is gone and nothing has been accomplished and you’re that much further behind in your work.]
And, really it’s the first day that’s the hardest. By the time you’ve gotten through that first day it will already seem like you never had a holiday at all. You will be once again fully entrenched in the robotic, day-to-day, soul-sucking grind of subverting your humanity for the sake of a few miserable dollars.