Sunday, 24 November 2019

Failing to relax

This is going to be a brain dump and may not have an actual point. You have been warned.

I've just had a week off work. Time to relax, recharge and reset. Only ... it hasn't worked. My normal pattern for time off is a few days doing very little, then I'm ready to re-engage with the world around me and I get a few days doing some kind of chunky project. This time, it took until Thursday before I managed to think about dragging myself back into the real world and I found myself wishing my week off was starting at the end of the week.

At the same time, the various activities I use to enthuse myself haven't worked either. I can't write, as the two main outputs for my writing are this blog and RPGs. This blog is increasingly (and deliberately) distilling my thinking and learning from the office which is very useful in general, but not something I want to be writing when I'm supposed to be disconnected from work.

My life in roleplaying games at the moment is largely dead, thanks to weird work / life patterns so there isn't much scope for writing there. Even when I do get into a game, I find myself wanting to hide at the back more than I used to. I don't fancy playing a character making significant decisions that can affect large groups of people when that is literally my day job these days.

I can turn to coding. Unfortunately, I'm between projects at the moment and starting a new one is much less fun than writing some code to fix specific problems. Anyway, writing code is hardly the best way to avoid thinking of work - last time I picked anything up, I spent my time looking at testing infrastructure and different ways of populating test data.

This leaves me in a difficult position. There is a hard question about what I actually do to relax. But more importantly, I think I need to ask some very pointed questions about why it is so hard in the first place. Why does it take a whole week away from work before I feel like I've actually left? Am I really saying that I should only take holiday in two week blocks? That doesn't seem healthy - if true, it feels like work is taking far too much out of me on an ongoing basis. So what do I do about that? What CAN I do about that? Wouldn't it be great if I had an answer to that question?

Still, I got a blog post out of it...

This post is the fourth of five written in NaBloPoMo - the National Blogpost Month which, yes, is a thing. My plan is to write one post a weekend for the month of November. Due to some amazing planning, that means I have to write five posts rather than the four you might immediately expect. These posts will be a bit shorter than normal most likely and all of the posts will be tagged with (sigh) NaBloPoMo2019.

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