In a previous job, I used to get 4 weeks of holidays. I hoarded them up and took them all at once, thinking that way I’d be able to live as if I didn’t have to have a day job. I could do what I liked, develop whatever habits I wanted and see what either self-employment or retirement would feel like. One summer I completed a play, another I spent doing as much music as I could. Maybe you can already see the problem – re-entry. Going back to work became more and more painful until ultimately, I quit and moved away.
As Nick and I grew to know each other, it became clear that we each love to be at home doing our own creative things. Neither of us wants to travel, or even go out at night. And in my next few jobs, we noticed how painful it was to return to work after a two-week break. Nick suggested using up vacation days throughout the year. Enjoying more three-day weekends would ease the pressure buildup and contribute to helping to make each day more enjoyable, he said. I panicked. It sounded logical but to use up all my escape valve? Nothing saved for later? The first time I agreed to use up my vacation that way, I was pretty nervous. I can so easily feel resentful, and I worried that during the summer months when I knew the rest of the world would be taking off out of the city, I would sob tears of longing and deprivation into my tea.
In fact, I barely noticed. I enjoyed my long weekends a great deal. I became aware, after I got to my current job in a health food store, that I enjoyed my weekdays more. When things grew tense, or I was taking life too seriously, it was time to book another day off. As the summer approached, I didn’t get to that painful level of holiday anticipation, the guilt of wasting precious days off in sleep, the hectic intensity of cramming as much fun into one day as I could. All avoided.
Now the issue is occasionally, re-entry after 3 days but more usually, how to make my 3-day weekends more special. I don’t want to waste them catching up on chores, and god knows, there are enough chores to spend one’s lifetime catching up.
I think by special, I mean giving myself permission to be; to escape all the guilt and do things just for the pleasure of it. And once more, I hear Nick’s voice saying each day should be special. And intellectually I agree, but emotionally I’m still fighting with my inner selves to live that. Why rest when I could be taking photographs, something I don’t find I have time for during the week? Because, it turns out, if I don’t rest, everything seems grey and depressing and not worth it. If I do rest, the ideas come. So the next thing is to make time during the week for taking photographs. I mean, I have a digital camera. I don’t need to arrange to buy enough film. It’s organization and discipline that’s required here. So if I’m not taking photographs, maybe it’s because there’s something else I’d rather be doing. I appear to be voting with my feet. Or perhaps, I just haven’t given myself enough encouragement.
All this rambling, just to say I find myself on my third day of a pretty relaxed, enjoyable weekend, still feeling the Sunday blues looming up. It’s my last day before going back to work. What do I want to do with it?
Time for a cup of tea.