Archives for posts with tag: time off

I was making some calls to potential customers in the UK the other day, and I made a tactical blunder. I hadn’t realised that the UK schools were not back from Easter break the same week as the Ireland schools. A lot of the people I was calling were parents taking time off with their families, and not ready to take my call.

An expression I heard a lot was that someone was ‘on annual leave.’ It’s quite an old-fashioned term to my mind. You hear it a lot in the UK but not that much in Ireland. I would just say that I was on holiday, or that I was taking a day’s holiday, not that I was taking a day’s annual leave.

Leave in this sense is quite an old word and it just means permission not to be at working, a leave of absence from the workplace. It got me thinking that there are many uses of annual ‘leave’, not just a holiday away, nor a ‘staycation’. Even though I may be at home getting a few projects done, or taking my child to an appointment, or even attending a funeral, I would still call that a holiday, since it’s a holiday from work, or at least regular paid work.

Of course, another important distinction is that annual leave is paid time away from work for the employee. For the self-employed of course, time away from work is unpaid time.

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I had a birthday the other day. I try not to work on my birthday – at least not a full day and certainly not more than a couple of hours in the home office.

What a great day it was. My mother was over and we pottered around, did a bit of shopping, had a leisurely lunch and then visited a few families and friends to shake hands and kiss babies – literally.

What a great day it was. How quickly it was over, though, and how long to wait until the next one, or even ’til Christmas when, to me at least, it feels like it’s everyone’s birthday at the same time.

So I’ve fixed this. I’m having more birthdays. Yup, more frequent birthdays is the way to go. I think somewhere between one a quarter and one a month is reasonable. I know the Queen has two birthdays a year, her natural one and her official one, but even that feel like nowhere near enough.

I don’t need you to send me a present for every one of my new birthdays, or even any of them. Simply send me happy birthday vibes, and that will suffice. I want that birthday buzz more often, and more birthdays is the way to get it.

I took a day off the other day. What I would describe as a proper day off. It wasn’t a holiday, and I wasn’t going on holiday. It wasn’t a weekend. I simply didn’t work that day.

I had a bunch of fiddly things to get done, and some errands to run. The kinds of things that I would normally try to wedge into the cracks of a normal working day. Stolen minutes at lunchtime or on a break, going a at breakneck speed to check a couple of pesky items off the list.

What a joyful day it was. I had forgotten what it was like to enjoy your spare time. Ambling around like I had all the time in the world to get my stuff done. No more cursing my bad luck at the traffic or at other people conspiring to to delay me in my rush to get from A to B.

I’ve always been a bit precious about taking the odd day off. This is probably a throw-back to my time as an employee when I had a finite amount of holidays to take and I didn’t want to waste any on needless frippery.

But there’s something to be said for simply taking a day off to slip into the slower part of the stream for a while, to enjoy the journey, rather than the destination.