Wednesday 16 August 2017

#221 Seven months off

When I was working on certain projects, particularly if it was busy, which in fact was always the case... I was never not busy... now and then my boss would take a holiday. A week off. Two weeks... and... the difference that made. You know? It was... I'm not kidding, it was like being on holiday... because I could just work... and I always worked. I didn't... check Facebook, didn't go chat to someone. I worked that whole time but the pressure didn't come from the work, it came from the person, so when that went away for a week or two, it really was like being on holiday.

This year I've had around seven months off, more time off than I've had since I was four or five. More than some people probably have in a lifetime. So then, what has it felt like? Well... that first month or two, I needed to wind down. That was a transitional period, I think although I was in a relationship at the time, which was pretty new for me. It brought its own benefits and challenges. Then that ended... and there was about a month where... I'd been writing this book and I started editing it in January. Then that took longer than I thought, so the next few months were mostly about finishing it. It was... it wasn't really like work because the pace was slower. There was no project. No team. Just a laptop. I'd drag my ass out to some cafe and sit and go through the text. Like, ok I don't really enjoy doing this but let's get it done. It became a slog. It was fine though, I mean I could do it. It wasn't a particularly hard slog.

I never wanted to go travelling or anything like that. So I finished the book and then I started job searching. A holiday seems like a strange word to describe it. There are fewer people around. That's what's really helped me to chill out and start to feel like myself again... because the world is so noisy. It's just so goddamn noisy and you notice that when you slow it all down. There's a lot of noise and you think to yourself "Where am I? In all that noise, where do I really exist and what am I in the noise?" 

You get caught up in everything and then you say "Well, that's life" but then you come out of that and you're like "Oh ok, that wasn't really life at all" I mean in a way you can say it all is, it's all something you have to go through. I also know that not everyone is able to take this kind of time. I think some of my friends could quite easily, if they wanted and some couldn't. Does it make a difference? I've still got several things I imagine I'd like to do, like everyone else. It's been good to take the break though. It has been a break, in some sense.


Running on empty said...

Living in a less noisy place is another option. We opted for cheap housing, own my own home, green fields at the end of our street, quick commute for my husband, alot slower pace of life.

Profound Familiarity said...

For raising kids, your area sounds ideal.

Running on empty said...

There are less jobs, of course.

Profound Familiarity said...

Of course.

Fizzfan said...

Hope you were pleased with your book? That was a massive achievement in itself.
Life? Yeah it is just whatever you're going through. If you can manage to steer it in a 'stay sane as poss' direction with a few treats, that's doing pretty OK.
I've never had a break, although I stupidly imagined I'd have one when I first had my son. Most unbreak like break from work ever.
Not sure how I'd cope with one? I guess I'd just have to find other things to do but then that's a form of pressure too.......Phreerrgghh - Life.

Running on empty said...

As a caregiver for disabled family members I had a much longer " break" than I wanted, and it wasn't a break, except from earning. I made sure to keep my brain active, watching documentaries, switching to non fiction books, and these days learning widely on the internet. Learning for me, is as essential as breathing.

Running on empty said...

Yes, Dan I think getting that book edited and published is your next step.