Taking the time to recharge

Where are you going on your holiday?

That’s the question I’m asked when I tell anyone that I’m going on annual leave for a week, the answer invariably disappoints, at first.

Nowhere, I’m staying at home.

Then I describe why I’m taking the week off and what I’ll actually be doing and people always seem to warm up to the idea pretty quickly.

When I worked in the government I realised about two years or so in that I needed to take a week off every year to completely recharge.  With my work I tend to live and breathe it 24 hours a day seven days a week.  Even when not at work I think about it or am on call, always monitoring to ensure nothing fucks up.  You see as a corporate social media manager I think you need to do this, you’re responsible for dealing with a sometimes erratic and unpredictable public and sadly every news outlet on the planet loves a good fuck up on social media.  Also communities online can turn very quickly when there’s blood in the water, months of great work can be undermined by an unchecked malcontent.

So in my line of work I am constantly on fire watch.  On top of that, you have the minutiae of working in an organisation and the responsibilities of those reporting to you.

So every twelve months I need to have a holiday from all of that.

Bu why don’t I go away?

Well, there’s some practical aspects such as coordinating leave with my wife, organising pet sitters and of course having the funds to do it.  But apart from that I find the most relaxing and rejuvenating use of that week off is to simply be.

The simplicity of doing the things around the house that I’ve let slip over the year, the little activities and projects that I’ve thought about but never gotten around to.  Some of these won’t even get done during the break but I’ve got the time and more importantly the mind space to prep them so that I can do them when working.

This week as I start my Odinsleep* state I’ve got three LEGO sets to build, lots of cleaning and throwing out, Drawlloween, literal sleeping, hanging out with Tracey, watching Dark Matter season 2, drawing, drawing and I’ll probably do some more drawing!

I’m also thinking of starting Grand Theft Auto V again, armed with cheat codes I think I can do some damage in the game.

I have a great team who are keeping the home fires lit whilst I’m away and I know that I’ll be back in a much better state than I’ve been in (having missed last year’s Odinsleep).

Some might suggest I find a better work/life balance in the future and I’m not discounting it for others but I know it’s not for me, I love my job, it’s part of who I am.  I don’t do it just for the money (money is good though, I like money, I can exchange it for pretty things) and I know how lucky I am.  Right now for the most part I’m in a really good place in my life and I kind of just want to enjoy it for a week before I get back into it.

Some might disagree and think it’s wasted time but I’m always confused when people build beautiful homes and gather nice things around themselves but then never have the time to enjoy them.  I believe that just being without work for a small amount of time is really beneficial and besides I still just need to catch my breath for a minute and recharge.


*The Odinsleep is a state of deep sleep where Odin recharges the Odinforce (an immense, magical force that gives Odin his power) and is left as vulnerable as a mortal during the process.