So what happens when you start a month long holiday? You begin a long list of things that you want to do. This list proceeds to be longer than one page and seems to grow like a bad fungus. One the second day of your holiday you realize something. You are using typical work processes, such as lists, to begin to define the time you will spend on a series of supposed important events. You question yourself as to why are you doing this. This is a holiday. It is meant to be something that isn’t work.
Here is one of the OED’s definition for holiday:
- a. A day on which ordinary occupations (of an individual or a community) are suspended; a day of exemption or cessation from work; a day of festivity, recreation, or amusement.
That said, how many of us can quickly flick on the ‘no work’ switch? It seems to me we are creatures of habit and when you are constantly refining your scope of work for a year you tend to get habitual in what you do. The question will now be how long will it take me to move from these structured work patterns to one of ease and serendipity. (Even that question has the attribute of a business decision – how long?).
Then there is the defining moment. Does it really matter? Time for another coffee. It’s work exemption day!
2 thoughts on “Work exemption”
Hi Gene. Have a good vacation. I’m in the middle of an almost three week break with my family. It takes a few days just to get out of a day to day mindset. Normally I take a few short breaks a year, but this year I knew I needed one long one for that reason. I’m finally out of work mode and am really enjoying the pace of a vacation (though it must be said that a road trip with a five year old has many moments that are far from relaxing, it is, at least, nothing like work).
In 1999, I put my belongings in a storage locker and left Vancouver for an extended trip to the Middle East. I reckon it took me six weeks to disengage completely from the work-mind. I came back in 2000 and for the last ten years have become even more entrenched in work. I take a one week holiday in August this summer, which will be useful for planning the next year’s work, but have no vision of long-term hiatus. I wonder what I’ll feel like when I get to that place again.