Tied Up for the Holidays
Here we are, four days after Christmas, three days until the new year. This funny in-between time where people are off work or if they are working it's got a different vibe than the rest of the year. This is the first year I've intentionally taken time off work around the holidays, having had nearly a full week off work surrounding Christmas. Although I've resisted doing that before, it might become a new tradition.
I usually don't take off work around the holidays because they feel like bonus days at work. Have you ever been in an office the day after Christmas? It's so magically quiet, I just love getting caught up on work with no sense of urgency. I'm sure that's not true for everyone, but I know some of you can relate. In my past work lives, waiting tables or working retail, taking time off around the holidays was laughable; I was lucky to have off on Christmas day.
But this year my husband started back at grad school and I took on a new role at work, both of which had us even busier than we already were, which was very. Since he was going to have a break from school and the holidays are actually not the busiest time at my office, it made sense for us both to take off some days following the holidays. And it's been awesome.
With how busy we were the past few months, I wasn't particularly feeling the holiday cheer all season. I love the "magic of Christmas" and all, but I found the expectations of the season to be a little suffocating this year. I was still excited for the actual holiday get togethers, both on the days themselves and the parties and other seasonal activities before, but the planning and shopping and coordinating... ahh! It's so much sometimes, and I don't even have kids! Bless you, parents.
So this made taking the days off following Christmas all the more magical and something I'm going to try to repeat, schedule willing. After a very busy and demanding few months, having the past few days to do nearly nothing was ahh-mazing. My husband and I talk about how we tend to fill our vacation time with activities, wanting to see and do all the things we can, because we do enjoy that, but we're starting to learn the value of simple down-time. While I'm not sure I'm ready for a weeklong staycation or anything like that (even with just a four-day weekend we still ended up taking an overnight trip), I definitely will be using some days off from work strategically after these busy times of the year. Besides re-charging, it allowed me some time to reflect and absorb the wonderful experiences I'd just had with family and friends rather than just rushing right back into the daily grind.
Plan some downtime into your schedule. Even if you can't take days off work, can you carve out a half or full day of your schedule to just hang out? Whether it's by yourself or with others, just try to find some time where you don't have to be on a schedule, don't have to be productive and can just enjoy your own or others' company, being a bum or doing a low-key activity that doesn't require too much planning or coordinating. For me, that's watching a Star Wars marathon (and eventually getting out to see the new one!), taking a bath with some of my new Lush bath products and slowly tidying up from the holidays.
Drop a comment with some of your favorite down-time activities and favorite times to plan for those.