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Friday, December 31, 2010

An absolute must for everyone .....

It's something that seems so simple - some people take them for granted - others long for them - others never make time to have them - what are they? Holidays!!

Now I'm not talking about the type of holidays which involve masses of running around, sightseeing, rushing from place to place - I'm talking about the chill out at home - away from work - doing the things that you love in a relaxed way.

This year is the first time, in several years, that I have had a "real" holiday. I am self employed - which anyone who is self employed will be able to identify with - taking a holiday is often logistically impossible (who will take over), it can be financially difficult (not bringing in any income) and for me personally - I feel guilt ridden.

What?? you may ask - why would you feel guilty? I have this problem. I constantly think about work 24/7 - I wake up thinking about work, I go to bed thinking about work, I dream about work - I strategise, plan, write, organise all the time. I feel that if I'm not working then I'm letting people down in some way ..... But in actual fact by living like this I am letting myself down.

The NZ Art Guild has only ever closed over the Christmas/New Year period for the statutory holidays. This year we (my good friend and colleague Tanya Dann) made the decision to close. As two workaholics, we actually agreed that the world would not stop spinning if we both had a true break from work for 11 days!! And wow!! Guess what - the world kept on spinning - nothing drastic happened and I feel great!!!

It's been really hard to ignore the guilt, to ignore the work emails, ignore the work thoughts and consciously push them aside every time they creep in. But it has been soooooo worth it. I've taken time to sit and chat with friends and family, to have a drink on the deck with my man, enjoy the holidays with my kids, go to bed early, sleep in (have 10 hours of sleep a night rather than 6!) watch dvd's, read and write my first blog post for 3 months!! Sheer bliss!!

For the first time in several months I feel the creative spark coming back into my life - I have cooked gourmet food, spent 3 days gardening (after 4 years of none at all!) and have started 3 artworks - with so many wonderful ideas flooding in. I have missed this wonderful feeling - it almost feels like a lifetime ago that I felt this good - and now I'm wondering why on earth I never allowed myself this time in order to receive this gift of feeling this wonderful.

In fact I'm enjoying my break so much that I have extended it for another week - and I will not feel guilty! I will enjoy it, embrace it and know that I will be able to give so much more when I do go back to work.

Now I need to make sure that I actually allow myself down time through out the year so that I can keep that creative spark alive - give myself time to write, paint, cook, garden - share my time with family and friends and actually have a more balanced life! ...... oh and catch up on my blog posts!! ;-)