Next friday, I’ve been told that I have to stop working for 2 weeks. Well, for people that have a normal life and/or kids, it’s a pretty good news. For people that get heavy pressure from their work, it can give some air. But I wondered why I didn’t feel like I ever felt the need for holidays. I take them by principle, but I’m usually not really eager to get them.
After some consideration, it all sums up to some kind of discipline. I refuse stress on a daily basis. I want each day at work to be enjoyable and debt-free. It’s a bad news for some category of employers. The same way those consider it’s acceptable to accumulate technical debt, they apply the same principle on human-life debt. Put people under pressure, get a loan on their health, that will never be repaid. So, I just refuse pressure, the same way I would refuse to eat meat if I was really vegetarian (which I am only part-time).
Really I have more trouble with holidays because they bring a gap in the continuity of work. You get back and there is a lot to catch up on. I would prefer to have just one hour work less per day than week-long breaks. But that’s just me. It would be totally different if I wanted to travel for fun or if I had kids. My case is not reproducible.
But the baseline remains valid. whether you have plans or not for holidays, they should not be required for having a balanced life. Stress has to be fought on a daily basis and not by using breaks. Breaks, in such case, are even more enjoyable, if you have the context for it.
The best way I know to push stress away is to put my efforts into what I do, in a way that I’m self-aware that I’m really doing what I can to fulfill my duties. If someone is not happy about the output, that’s their problem not mine. If it leads to some awkward context, then it’s broken and I will reach out to find a better work context. I apply that principle for more than 20 years now and I can’t remember last time I felt stressed.