A Sort Of Holiday

It’s Sunday afternoon and all is quiet. I’m still officially “on holiday” though I did do some work earlier this week.

This is most unusual, because I’m still sitting in my parents’ house. I’ve been here for about 10 days now. But it’s only really the past four days that I’ve actually began having a proper break. And it all began with a simple thing.

Turning my phone off.

Earlier in the week I missed a couple of phone calls. Not many, but enough. Each one that came through made me despair. I worried that I was missing business permanently. I also worried that maybe I could help them immediately and therefore make my eventual return a lot easier.

But, for now, I couldn’t care less. The holiday will officially end tomorrow, when I’ll turn my phone back on. The phone has now been off since Thursday afternoon. I changed the voicemail to say I was on holiday and would deal with things when I get back. I have even been disciplined enough not to look at my e-mail, though I wish I had changed it to an autoresponder to tell people I’d get back to them.

It has worked, though. I feel like I’ve had a few days without being hounded by clients, without having to think about computers, about websites, about HTML, and having to check voicemails every couple of hours. I feel better, and definitely less stressed. Of course, it won’t take long for that to all start up again, but I do feel like I have recovered from an incredibly hard time over the past month. The work has been ceaseless.

But I do think the holiday has helped me to clarify a few work-related thoughts. I’m now ready to stop doing all distant call outs for a number of reasons. Firstly, they don’t pay enough for the hassle they cause. Secondly, I just don’t have the time to cut several hours out of my day for them; and thirdly, I need to reduce the stress business causes me. I feel like I’m running around like a headless chicken sometimes. I’m willing to sacrifice the small amount of money they bring me if it gives me back critical working hours. And, it will also reduce the dependence I have on my housemate, which, if all goes to plan, will be reduced to zero in the coming months.

So this holiday has definitely been good. I have made some useful decisions. I’ve had some good fun. I’ve also had some nice time off with my family, who are all undergoing their own various stresses, strains and difficult decisions at the moment. It’s a changeable time for everyone. I have offered advice, but no one wants it, so I won’t be doing so any more.

Switching my phone on tomorrow morning though is going to be interesting…

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