I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic. As a child I juggled school with Brownies and three dance lessons a week, preferring to fill my time with activities rather than sitting around getting bored; as soon I was old enough I was working double shifts and juggling restaurant responsibilities with mini bar duty, and even at Uni I had a ‘day time’ job in House of Fraser and a ‘night time’ job in what can only be described as a drinking hole. (The emphasis on hole.) When I started this blog it was as a hobby; a form of escapism and a creative outlet that filled my otherwise dull evenings between dinners with friends and a cheeky cocktail or two. For years I always had my blog to turn to when there was nothing in my diary and even less on the telly, but this became a habit that was hard to break once it became my job.
Over the last three years I’ve really struggled with achieving a balance between work and play, spending many of my evenings and weekends taking photos or catching up on emails – rather than actually enjoying my free time. It’s hard to close a metaphorical door when the work never stops, especially when you’re a one-woman-band who’s set on world domination. My blog and the tasks that surround it have become somewhat of a comfort blanket, but over the years that comfort blanket has become suffocating – to the point where I don’t know what to do with myself when it’s not there.
In the last few months I’ve made a concerted effort to put down the laptop and read a book, do some colouring, run a bath or watch something on Netflix; I’m trying to be more sociable and spend more time with friends, popping for a couple of glasses of wine or to see the latest film at the cinema, rather than ploughing through my to-do list. As Christmas gets closer and closer I’ve started to unwind and have even taken a few days off just to wrap presents, wander around town, get my hair cut or snuggle on the sofa wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea… And it’s glorious. Having time away from what you love provides the benefit of a fresh perspective and passion channeled into a clearer vision.
Usually this time of year involves tonnes of planning and work that takes me right up to the very last moment, but I’m seriously winding down and making an effort to wrap things up with a few days to spare so I can thoroughly enjoy the festive season (and basically spend it in the pub.) Usually I’d take my laptop with me wherever I went, filling every spare moment with an opportunity to get ahead with content, but this year I’m leaving it behind so I can focus on spending time with my loved ones and actually relaxing like everyone else. Usually I’d spend those few days between Christmas and New Year prepping and planning, uploading new posts and taking advantage of the relatively quiet social media platforms to get ahead; right now I can’t imagine picking up work until the New Year, simply just because.
This is the only time of year the majority of us get the opportunity to refresh our bodies and minds, preparing for a whole new year and the challenges it brings, so I hope you’ll all take a leaf out of my book and make the most of it. Burning the candle at both ends only works until they meet in the middle (and our metaphorical fingers get burned.) My out of office is on, I’ve got nothing planned but lunches, champagne and catch-ups with my nearest and dearest until Christmas Day and I couldn’t be more pleased.
I hope you have a fabulous festive season, and I’ll see you on the other side all kinds of refreshed.