So this year I had a four week summer vacation, and it came to an end about a week and a half ago. So does it feel good or bad to return to work?
I’ve been much more work focused at younger age, and many many summers has gone by when I’ve only had a week off here and there, if at all. For many years there was active avoidance on having to have vacation for more than 2 weeks straight. This has changed some, specially after becoming a dad. But still to this day, I feel stress and even some anxiety when there’s 3 or more weeks of vacation in front of me.
I’ve have had vacations where I notice a clear change by week three, or even already at week 2 in the past. That’s when work thoughts start to crawl back in my head, and I start to ponder how everything is going at the office etc. This year those thoughts started appearing lightly during week 3, and more forcefully during week 4. There was active thought management needed on my part, to divert back to “vacation mode”.
So when the day came, that I was to return to work, there was a extra joy in me, a spring in my step, and high levels of eagerness when I got to turn on the computer, take my coffee mug beside me and start plowing thru unread emails, pending support cases and upcoming development.
A question I received from my colleagues during the morning meeting was of course; “how does it feel to be back?”, and my response was short and quick: “GREAT!“.
But why is this? Why do I long so quickly back to work?
It’s not that I don’t love to spend time with my family. It’s not that freedom of coming and going without a timetable wouldn’t be enjoyed. So why do I long to be back at work so soon?
After some reflection, my continued answers to the colleague question sounds like:
“Love to be back to a steady and clear routine for the day.” and “Great to get some structured and meaningful challenges for my brain.” and “Great to see other people again.”.
So for the most part of my professional life, I’ve always had jobs I’ve liked and enjoyed. I’ve actually had as a guideline for myself the following. If the amount of weeks exceed 3, where the first thing in the morning, every morning, when you open your eyes the first thought is:
“For f**ks sake, I have to go to work, I don’t want to!”
At this stage, it’s time to create change in either work tasks, work responsibilities or employment in general. And looking back, the decisions I’ve made has been always been for the better. So in my case theres one clear conclusion, it is good to return to work.
At my current employment, I have everything pretty much as good as it get’s right now.
- There’s interesting and challenging tasks.
- There’s responsibilities I think I both can manage, and that challenges me to excel in.
- There’s an atmosphere of support and true team spirit in my current team.
- There’s a genuine will to help each other as much as possible, for mutual success.
So how about you, did you return to work full of energy and anticipation, or mumbling words of disappointment?