Perhaps you’ve already been back at work for a week or more? Sucked in.
Maybe you’re one of those rare people who adore their job, and have been counting down the days until you can get back to work as if it’s Christmas. You freak.
For most of us, that first week back after a big break is among the toughest of the year.
It’s waking up next to your partner that first day after your honeymoon, looking at them and thinking, ‘Welcome to the rest of my life.’
Work is far worse though, because you can’t have sex with work. Well, you shouldn’t and please don’t give it a go unless you have your own office. With a lock on the door, and closed curtains.
Also, most people don’t love their job nearly as much as they love their partner. Which I think is the way it should be. If it was the other way around, we might have people marrying their jobs instead of other people, and we’re a very long way from that. In a lot of places around the world, it’s still illegal for people to marry certain other people.
If you don’t love your partner, I recommend telling them immediately, leaving them, having an affair, joining an online dating site, or something. I also recommend never taking relationship advice from someone who’s not in a relationship. Such as myself.
Back to holidays, and don’t we all wish we could just go back to our holidays right now? No matter how long they are, they never seem to be long enough.
I believe holidays are actually founded on some weird mathematical equation where two weeks of holidays passes in the same amount of time as one hour at work. Especially that first hour after holidays, as you’re staring at over a thousand unread emails.
If life were even remotely fair, for every one hour at work, we’d actually get two weeks off.
Now there are pills to make stay awake for longer, sleep for longer, and make a certain part of a male’s anatomy longer. So where the hell is our pill that makes our holidays longer?
Even a pill that made them go for long enough would be fine.
As an experiment, I tried taking all three of the aforementioned pills, however two of them cancelled each other out, and one had no effect at all. So for days now, I’ve been sleeping adequately, in exactly the same sized underwear.
During my holidays, it always takes me at least a week to get my head out of work mode. At a minimum, we should at least get that week added onto the end.
It’s only the last few days of my days off that are then a proper holiday, and during these days something curious often happens.
The brain space that’s usually filled with work worries, stresses and sport gets filled with something else. Fantasies.
About what I’d rather be doing with my working life.
It often begins with the outrageous. For example, I’m still shattered that astronaut porn star footballer who lives on pizza but is still ripped isn’t a real job. Yet. However, I’ve got an email alert set up, so the moment it is, I’ll know about it.
Eventually though, my outrageous dreams mesh with reality, and all that unused brain space spits out something that’s both desirable and reasonable – an idea of how my working life could be far better, and how I might actually make it happen.
Something similar happens to a lot of people I know during their holidays, and this is another reason that first week back is so difficult.
That dream you’ve spent your holidays building and refining is right there, it’s a risk but definitely possible, and at the start of a new year, this is your chance.
You’ve got two choices. Either do something about it, or ignore it and let it be stamped back down into your subconscious by the daily grind until it’s again holiday time. Or it’s football season, when most of us don’t have the brain space to think about work at all.
So if you’re struggling with that choice between sticking in a job you despise, or are just ambivalent about, as apposed to trying something that might make you excited about life on a daily basis, here are four things to consider.
1) When it comes to choosing a partner, would you ever consider committing your life to someone you detested? Only tolerated? Or felt ambivalent about?
2) Several studies, experts, surveys and people much smarter than I am have actually figured out what it takes to have a fulfilling work life. So ignore the self-help books, the lists of ten things, the seminars, and all that other very costly garbage. It’s this simple:
Humans need work to be happy, and are happiest when that work is challenging, feels important, provides satisfaction, and involves the person having a meaningful say in how the organisation runs.
3) Your life is the most precious thing you will ever own. What you choose to do with it is the most important decision you will ever make.
4) There’s nothing wrong with sticking with what you’ve got, if it gets you the life that you want.
Now go and fix your life. Or not.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian. His debut comedy book about life on a FIFO mining site ‘Mining My Own Business’ is available now.