Are you like me?
Do you only start properly enjoying a holiday when it nears its end?
I find this happens every time.
And it's not like I'm not enjoying the start of the holiday; it's just that it takes about 7 days for me to catch up on sleep, recover from work fatigue and stress and finally get on top of all those home jobs that have been bugging me for weeks and weeks... once that is all done I'm finally in the holiday zen state and can actually actively enjoy the time off from work.
But, of course, by then the return to work date is rearing it's ugly head out of my toilet bowl like a escaped alligator that has swum up the sewer pipe (hey, it can happen; I've read about it on the internet).
It happens every time; every holiday.
It's like I need a pre-holiday before the actual holiday. I need some down-time before I have the energy to embrace the quality up-time.
Why do we, as a nation, not embrace this concept?
Oh yeah. Money. Or the lack of. And politics. The lack of the sensible kind.
Is it just this country? 'Cos I've heard that, in reality, the quality of life and the work / home life ratio is pretty dire in the UK compared to other countries. We have the balance all wrong.
This has been brought home to me by the news that one of my oldest friends is moving out to Dubai in March with his wife and son as he's been offered a job out there. One of his reasons for going is that he and his wife both work (like me and Karen), both slog their guts out (like me and Karen) and barely cover their financial bases each month (unlike me and Karen who often fail to meet them). What is the point of such a lifestyle? With this new job in Dubai - which I don't think in monetary terms represents a huge increase in wages - my friend will have a much better lifestyle; more home life, more quality time, the money will go further and I daresay the work stresses will be less (though different).
I don't blame him for going or his reasons although it is a significant shock to me that one of the pillars of my life is going to be moving out of the country - I mean, this is a 25 year friendship we're talking about here.
More and more I can see the attraction of fledging the battered nest of the UK and going somewhere where I can spend less time at work, more time at home and not have people look at me like I'm mad for daring to even dream of such of thing.
I want more time to wallow. More time to enjoy my time away from work instead of having a mini-collapse every holiday as my body fights to recover and recuperate quickly enough so it is ready to be thrown into the mixer yet again once the holiday is over.
Best parts of this holiday? Sitting watching TV with my family around me or just relaxing doing nothing while the kids played, daydreaming, vaguing out... not having to rush around and do a list of jobs or prep the next lot of chores.
That's what a holiday should be about. Not trying to squeeze in all the stuff you didn't get to do in the previous 3 months because earning a crust got in the way and sucked your energy reserves completely dry.
I want more time to just be and enjoy. To smell the coffee so to speak.
So who do I have to write to to achieve this goal?
Can anybody recommend a kindly immigration department...? 'Cos I'm guessing there's no one in the UK who'll actually be able to help.