I find myself starting a week off work and for the first time in ages I'm not worried about all the things I haven't done, panicked by the future or generally feeling guilty about not being in the office. This feeling of peace makes for a nice change, so rather than ruin any benefits through analysis and naval-gazing, I'm going to embrace it and relax.
Hahaha of course not. So what's different this time?
I'm more in control of my time these days. I still have far too much to do, but I've been working to push further out of reactive work and into proactive work. Knowing I've got this time off, I've been focusing on setting things in motion which can run while I'm away. That means I haven't left much blocked, awaiting my input. This feels good.
I've reached the end of a few bits of ongoing work. Clearing out the backlog has really helped me feel like I've made concrete progress and some of that work has fixed things I've felt incredibly guilty being left undone. These fixes should run themselves now, which will reduce ongoing load. This also feels good.
So is it just that through luck (and some judgement) I've managed to time this holiday well? Possibly. I guess I'm also starting to feel effective at some of the things I've written about before. Bringing some things to a close, or at least a good breakpoint, feels like success which is a positive feedback look that has been missing from my professional life for a while. I'm also aware that despite this being a pretty lethal week, I've not sacrificed making time for people who have needed it so I've managed to deliver without compromising my core rule. This feels extra-good.
Overall, it's not just peace - I actually feel good about work for a change. It took some self-analysis to dig that out, but I guess it's been worth it.
It also doesn't hurt that I'm surrounded by some fantastic people who I can trust to put out fires while I'm away, either.