In about 2 weeks I’ll be taking my first holiday in about 4 years and I mean the first proper going-away-to-a-different-location-for-an-extended-time kind of break and I am very, very excited. Well I will be. I suppose at the moment (at the time of writing this) I’m feeling rather frayed.
It dawned on me that during my PhD I didn’t actually take any holiday. I was entitled to annual leave but I mostly spent my summers working. Or thinking about working. Or spending the few days I did take off feeling like I should be working and compensating by taking work with me and doing bits here and there when I could. Taking work along during your holiday isn’t a holiday and I knew it. Working at this kind of pace for years on end is bound to take it’s toll.
Post-PhD life has been a strange adjustment. It seemed normal to me to be working all the time and it’s taken me at least a year to accept the fact that I can relax. It’s also taken a lot of time and effort to learn how to take a break. It sounds absurd to think that one needs to learn how to relax. I suppose it’s a new kind of normal that I’m learning about.
So I am looking forward to taking my first guilt-free holiday from work and it is going to be very liberating.