Taking leave

We all have a certain number of days to take as leave each year. It’s a known number, and we know when they need to be used by.

For some (me) it’s quite easy to see when I need to use them – they’re always aligned to the school holidays. Whether I take a few days extra around a half-term or main (Christmas, Easter) holiday or work out a few full weeks, it’s always around the school term-times.

But what annoys me the most (about myself) is the inability to switch-off at that time, to let the thoughts and feelings of work stacking up for when I return. Yes, I have colleagues who will help if they can. No, I’m not so important or selfish that I think I’m the only one who can do it. Even so, there are things I know will back up and up until I return.

That’s why long weekends or short breaks are not relaxing, the thought of work, meetings, emails, projects, reports, etc, is never far from my mind. The last time I truly left work behind and gave it so little thought was a family holiday to Lapland in February 2020, shortly before borders were closed. It was so magical and special I had no time for thoughts of work.

That’s what I need. A holiday.

Photo credit: Kristina Alexanderson