last day of leave

I’m about to set up my home-office desk again after taking three weeks’ leave from work. Proper leave; I haven’t checked my work email for two weeks (except briefly and by accident), and I’ve only responded to questions that have come directly to me through personal social media channels (I don’t think I’ve had a single work-related phone call).

Lessons learned

  • getting out in nature is important
  • minimising screen time and notifications (except perhaps the “this is how long you’ve been on your phone today” type) is important
  • I’ve enjoyed the time that I made to spend in prayer and Bible reading, but it wasn’t anywhere near as much time as I was hoping to spend on that
  • Having days where I didn’t plan anything, especially during the school holidays, resulted in fewer activities completed, but a higher quality of time spent with the people I saw on those days
  • Making sure I wasn’t trying to spend one-on-one time with people every day was important to being able to actually recover
  • By recover, I am talking about quieting my mind, and improving my ability to direct my attention to something in particular without my mind buzzing with a hundred different priorities
  • Even when I’ve set sleeping as a goal, it’s hard for me to sleep more than 6 hours per night, but there are benefits to sleeping seven hours in terms of mental clarity: this is a difficult concept for me to grasp when I am carrying a chronic sleep debt, but even a single day of less than 5 hours sleep means a big step backward for mental clarity, and for ability to stay alert for the whole day
  • I really enjoyed being able to spend time with Kel and the kids (and with each individual kid) with a greater ability to concentrate on what they were saying
  • Yet again, there was a lot of uni reading to complete (I spent last weekend in a uni intensive learning to negotiate better) but that’s the stage of life I’ve opted for. Had I not needed to complete a few hundred pages of uni reading and an assignment, the break might have been better
  • Much gratitude for a friend who let us stay a few nights at his place in the country – getting out of the house was a much needed tonic, and a great chance for some family adventures

Time will tell how much this leave helps me become better at my actual job, but I’m optimistic that it will help me go the distance better.

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