The problem with taking a week off from work is that you have to do two week’s work in the week before you go away and then, inexplicably, two week’s work when you come back. I have never been able to understand quite how that works, but that’s the way things are and always will be.
So, this week, at the office, it’s all go, making sure that as far as is possible, things can carry on regardless next week. I have a great team of colleagues and consultants working on our behalf and they are all quite capable of managing without client interference for a few days. That said, there is always something that crops up when it’s least expected that could do with dealing with there and then, so inevitably, this means that the Blackberry comes along for a ride too. While mine will be switched off most of the time, I might take a few minutes each day just to make sure that anything really urgent or important gets a nudge in the right direction. To be out of touch for even a few days at a time is no longer the “done thing”.
With the advent of ubiquitous and pervasive technology such as Blackberrys and iPhones, with roaming of mobile phone networks and WiFi on every corner, the temptation to answer the odd email or respond to the odd text message is difficult to resist. This is especially true when you have live projects on the go – and I have four, all of which need daily tending. I will just have to resist temptation to check too much.
When on a main holiday, and since that awful period ten year’s ago when I only managed to take eight day’s leave in an entire year (a period which I am convinced had a substantial part to play in my subsequent illness), I have always tried to take a full two weeks in the summer, I think that it’s actually easier to let go of things. That middle weekend seems to me to be crucial in the relaxation process. During the first week, you know that you don’t have to pack up and go home within a few days, and during the second, you have, with a bit of luck and a bit of sunshine, wound down sufficiently to make the whole exercise worthwhile. With only a week, that luxury of properly trying to wind down is not there and there seems to me to be little harm in keeping in touch with things at home, provided they don’t get in the way of the core “holiday time” during the day. So, next week, I can see the odd 10 minutes at the end of the afternoon, being devoted to “not losing touch too much”.
It’s so much easier in the long run.
Now, to start getting the film and batteries and lenses sorted for the trip…