“Wealth is now defined, at least in part, by the ability to be offline whenever you want” Fernando Gros.
0 items in your cart
$0
Blog // Thoughts
July 26, 2016

This Week I Quit Apologising For My Holiday Schedule

This week I quit apologising for my holiday schedule. Right now I’m on a summer break, escaping the heat of Tokyo’s summer for a few weeks by the cool winter beaches of Adelaide. Together with my recent medical leave I’ve been off work for three weeks now and I won’t be back at work for […]

This week I quit apologising for my holiday schedule. Right now I’m on a summer break, escaping the heat of Tokyo’s summer for a few weeks by the cool winter beaches of Adelaide. Together with my recent medical leave I’ve been off work for three weeks now and I won’t be back at work for a couple more weeks.

Most freelancers, artists and creatives I know struggle with holidays. This might seem odd, since for most workers holidays are something you get (or earn) on a fairly fixed schedule. Most folks don’t feel the need to apologise for being on holiday.

But for freelancers and artists, holidays are a more complicated thing. How many holidays should you take a year? What happens if a good gig or opportunity comes in while you’re on holiday? Will people mistake your holiday for a lack of drive or motivation?

It’s easy to get into the routine of trying to look like you are always on, always working, always at it. At least that way you can avoid trying to explain the difference between being on holiday and being unemployed.

Is this crazy? Maybe. Like most people I know, I work six days a week, most weeks of the year. Every now and then I meet a budding freelancer who wants to be guaranteed the time off that regular workers have, 2 day weekends every week, every public holiday, at least 4 weeks of uninterrupted holidays every year. It never works out for them. Usually, they return to a conventional job in a year or two.

When I was in academia, my schedule as a researcher was largely my own, but there were guidelines; about how many days a year to have holidays, how many days a year to attend conferences, or set aside for personal and professional development. But, not in the creative world.

Yet, we choose this life, at least in part, for the freedoms it can give us. Part of what I love about the work is do is the way it fits with being a parent, being there for my daughter on her longer school breaks.

And of course, I love being able to chase inspiration, play with ideas, create and give the craft the time it deserves. Holidays are an essential part of the living this life well. I could try to explain this better, but I will no longer apologise for it.

This Week I Quit is a (mostly) weekly series where I try, in a personal way, to address the habit of overcommitment. Each week I quit something, it could be an app, a habit, a possession, a word, anything that had a hold on my attention. I explain why I made the choice to quit and what it was like. Last time I Quit Discussing Identity On Social Media” and you can read all the posts in this series here.

Responses
Toni 3 years ago

A problem with typical time-off expectations is that one’s family can expect that you’ll also take time off like everyone else they know. And if you want to work 6 days/week then what you do needs to be more than just something done to live from, or you’ll resent it quickly and be better off in conventional employment. You’ll probably also need to earn WELL from those 6 days or have independent income, because that time ‘off’ at the weekend is often when we do the other work that we can’t afford someone to do for us, whether looking after the garden or fixing the house etc.

Definitely good to take time out though – enjoy the ‘break’.

Leave a comment

Enter your and your to join the mailing list.