How are you feeling in your first week back? Many of you will still be enjoying this stunning weather.
Personally for me, I love being back a little earlier than most. It gives me time to connect and catch up on those things that often get avoided. AND I have the added bonus of being back in the sanctuary of my office for the first time in nearly two months (my broken wrist prevented me from accessing it).
So it might seem a little obscene, talking about holidays when you are not even back from your Christmas break. And some of you might be about to hit me now, and say, "all very well for you, but you don't live in my world, I can't POSSIBLY take holidays!"
But come on, what if you suddenly got sick, or your kids did? Work CAN be left for a week or two (and it's a good reason to own a practice rather than a business, refer to this video for more information).
We have all heard the adage, no-one ever got to the end of their days and said 'I wish I'd spent more time in the office', and with a little bit of planning, it can be done.
Plan your holidays in advance
What I mean by that, is work out when you are roughly going to have them. For Geoff and me, that means at least one week off every school holiday, and two to three weeks over Christmas. The actual location doesn't need to be agreed until closer to the time, and will often depend on finances available.
We have three types of holidays;
1. Get by on the smell of an oily rag.
This is where wonderful friends who are happy to host a family of four come in handy, or even camping/holiday parks, and cheap hotels. Some of the best family holidays have been these kind; the kids, if you have any, are none the wiser, and you can have fun being creative (but don't be stingy to your hosts!).
2. A nice middle of the road affair.
This means holiday house accommodation, hotel accommodation, paid activities, the odd dinner out and maybe even a plane ride and rental car.
3. The big splurge.
Something offshore and indulgent - this might not happen very often, but they are real memory makers and are great to aspire to. And speaking of memory making; every holiday we now take lot of snaps, and pop them into a photo book; just such a perfect way to keep the memories alive for young children.
Take a pre-holiday!
And if that's not decadent enough, I also think it is great to take a pre-holiday. If you are going away for more than a week, it might pay to take a long weekend the week before. How many of you have attracted a holiday headache or cold? Your body starts to wind down, and then realises how tired it actually is, then whump an illness appears. If you can shake it out of your system the week beforehand, you will be perfectly fine by the time your real holiday occurs!
If this really does sound out of left field for you (and I am constantly amazed at how often I hear people remark that they haven't had a holiday for over three years), then ask yourself why you are tolerating it? If you are in business, then it sounds like the business is too reliant on your presence, which poses a high risk. If you are an employee, then it is definitely worthwhile reflecting on why you aren't being allocated your leave, or aren't asking for it!