Really, there isn't?
And maybe, there shouldn't be.
The holiday is...err... on holiday.
What am I trying to say?
I'm trying to say that when the things you love overlap with the things you must do in order to survive and live, why take a break from them?
A wonderful woman I met online semi-recently - her name is Monika - said something similar to me when I interviewed her about a book she was working on called This Year Will Be Different. This is what she said:
"A yoga teacher once told me he didn’t believe in the concept of having a holiday; because if you need a vacation you’re clearly working too much. That was a big learning for me because I’ve since tried to live my life the way that I don’t need to go on holiday."
Isn't that such an obvious wisdom. Why work yourself so hard you need to stop? Why not just create a balance in your life that works?
And again, if you enjoy the work you do, is it really "work" after all?
Despite all this hypothesizing despite the logic of this new approach to work-holiday balance, I have to admit that I really rather like going on holiday. I like changing my routine and environment completely. I like wearing a bikini all day, every day for a week. I like resting and reading and really not doing too much at all. I like the exhaustion that comes from doing nothing. I like escaping one world and exploring another. I like eating ice cream that melts faster than I can lick. I like putting down the things I do every day for a little while, only to pick them up again with fresh eyes and energy.
I'm writing all this on the eve of what will be my Last Holiday Before Baby Bird. I'm sort of petrified by this fact. Holidays are, or were, my one completely selfish indulgence. It's when I do what I want, when I want. But when the baby comes, well, that's going to be an impossibility, I fear.
I appreciate this is the most ridiculous of First World Problems to whine about, but I do find it interesting how when I thought about the proper last holiday I went on in addition to all the nice things I did... I also recall spending lots of time writing in a notebook. No, I wasn't keeping count of how many Thai massages I'd had, nor was I keeping track of how many hours I'd been sunbathing on my front. I was planning.
Planning new stories (some of which I've since written, like The Pink Flowers), planning a blog redesign (which happened a few months later), planning how I could generate more money with my freelance business, and planning a schedule to get London Eyes finished. While I have certainly not executed every single note or intention I scribbled down as I sat by the pool in Koh Samui last February, there have been significant achievements related to - and possibly prompted by - all of the above mentioned plans.
So, if I spent time writing notes that contributed to my work, was that really a holiday?
It's subjective, isn't it? Some people will say no, that was work. But others will say yes, that was you doing what you loved (true story) so that was holiday time well spent.
I agree and sympathise with both. And I'm packing an empty notebook in my suitcase tomorrow. And I would probably advise you to do the same on your next holiday if you're the kind of person who finds themselves thinking of "work" things when they should be a million miles away from that. Whether I use it or not this time is another matter. But it's a matter that doesn't matter, if you catch my drift. It's my holiday and I'll do whatever I want to do... apart from drinking cocktails. See! Baby Bird is already spoiling all my fun...
Or you can read the beginnings of a short story...
Did you read the short story I wrote using only two word sentences. Yes I was a bit bonkers to do that, wasn't I? Anyway, I hope you enjoy Together, Apart.
Read why one young woman's first job after university is to disappear into crowds in An Invisible Girl
Read about Londoners' lives overlapping in Routines
Read how a hotel porter seduces a travelling business woman... and changes her life in Homes from Home.
Find out what the Wizard of Elephant & Castle is mixing into the cocktails he serves in his mysterious bar.
Alternatively, why not get properly stuck into one of my books. Thank you for your support!
P.S. This Year Will Be Different is a book by entrepreneurial women for entrepreneurial women offering advice, tips, inspiration and personal stories. I blather on for a chapter in it, but apart from that it's a very good read and is excellent for those who are considering starting their own business or taking on freelance work.
Frances M. Thompson
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