The idea of a summer holiday seems so foreign now that I'm working full-time. If students get four months off, why can't we?
In Europe, people do take the entire month of August off. After all, we've waited all year for weather like this.
The days are long and the nights short. However, I end up working longer than usual.
The nice weather outside is so distracting - I can hardly stay indoors playing the piano or working on my laptop. At dusk, I must come back inside for that's when the pollen count is the highest. Today, I cycled to the vast outdoors. Lying on a dead oak log, surrounded by grass, I tried to have a telephone conversation - only to sneeze and itch until my eyes grew bloodshot. The only way to combat hayfever is to avoid what cause the allergies and to take medicine.
My friend's plans revolved around his summer holiday. He has almost two months to relax. When my sister was working in Taiwan, she used to complain about her German friends who had six weeks of annual holidays. So they spend most of the year planning where they would go.
I, too, would like to take summer holidays. But can I really switch off to all that's going on in my industry? Will I risk having too much to catch up afterwards? Does summer holidays mean switching off from the usual day to day completely or does it mean slowing down and pacing yourself?
I would like to plan my year around holidays, like the way I used to: a big holiday and lots of little holidays. Instead, I plan it around conferences and other major industry events. If I arrange it so that I can't tell the difference between work and play, then there's no need for a holiday.
A Tibetan Lama once said, "Why do you need to have a holiday if work and play are the same?" Indeed, if we all love our work so much, we wouldn't know the difference. So we have to work like we don't need the money. And then there's no need to take time off - or have a summer holiday, for that matter.
4 June 2001
New updates at analyticalQ:
Anne and her laptop.