With the year winding down, in contrast, I have been finding that everything activity-wise has been winding up… getting busier rather than slowing down.
This has meant a fair bit of rushing around, setting and meeting deadlines and of course not getting the time to reflect and write quite so much. My regular blog posts have been pushed into a mini hiatus!
And, its not just me, everyone I speak to seems the same. It’s a very familiar story… rushing to wrap up work projects, attending a whirlwind of social commitments, and a flurry of holiday preparations.
It is of course a holiday season… and there are parallels to similar effects we see in the summer too.
Seemingly the psychology is this…. put on rush, make all efforts to finish tasks… officially all for a sense of closure and completion, yes… but also in a somewhat desperate, yet ultimately futile, attempt to avoid being swamped with emails when you get back. (hands up… who takes their laptop on holiday?… and more relevantly, who will be doing emails on Boxing day… just remember ‘delay send’ for the rest of us please!).
The irony here is that for a holiday season, it’s hardly a break and sometimes the rush to ‘get everything done’ can send us into a frenzy… Once you make it collective, the effect becomes exponential… and here we are a mad rush to the end.
And then relax
One would think, but not really… once the holidays start, even then ‘the break’ is hardly tranquil. Our days quickly packed with family visits, social gatherings, and activities.
It can be a juggling act trying to see everyone, an impossible feat as everyone else off trying to do the same! And to make it worse there is none of the infrastructure we have at work, at least I have not seen Calendly invites for family gatherings just yet…!
Then, the New Year and it is over… January begins and… tumbleweed.
The party’s over
We return to work, laugh about the holidays and by the second week realise we are staring into the grey abyss of winter weather and the prospect of no holiday until March break (or Easter here).
Put like this it all does all seem a little crazy…
Now I really don’t want to be a party pooper… it is great to be busy, have fun and see everyone… I am here on this.
Yet, maybe we need to also think about spreading a little more cheer into January and February too. Even creating a little more time to relax in the holidays.
After all collectively we do need to give ourselves something to look forward to.
Or is it?
So yes, the weather is still cold, but it is also still a great time to get together, meet new people and start on the plan of execution for the year.
And with so many of us still working remotely these days, maybe the social interaction is something we all need too… to keep us engaged, motivated and upbeat… an anti-dote to the lack of sunshine.
So this is a first New Year’s resolution… to try to a different approach, to spread events and commitments better throughout the year.
It may alleviate the year-end pressures, create a more balanced, enjoyable work calendar and maybe, just maybe provide a little un-seasonal cheer too.
With this being said… it is now 10:30pm and I am off to put up the outside winter lights, in the rain…
Enjoy the run-up to Christmas everyone (just remember to relax and leave a little to have some fun in Jan/Feb too!)