Home or away, are you a participator in life or a wallflower?

 In Gill's Blog

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Gill Steel - Solicitor, Trainer in Wills Probate Trust TaxAre you a willing participant in work, training, life or just an observer who lets things pass them by? Some people love to be in the thick of things and nearly always throw themselves into whatever they are interested in. They volunteer, they take the initiative, and they enjoy themselves. Others are naturally shy and stand back while the extroverts take charge. They may be reflective or disinterested or worried about putting their heads above the parapet.

In the normal ebb and flow of life we may be a participator sometimes and sometimes the watcher, the nonparticipant. There is nothing wrong or odd about these differences, but I do wonder if there is a real risk that if we don’t participate in life because we are only participating in work whether we are heading for a disaster.

I mention this because it is that time of the year to take a break, a breather from work, and enjoy family time without homeschooling or discipline but just genuinely time to take time out and not look at work emails or take telephone calls from the office or participate in office Zoom meetings.

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It really saddens me when I see people on holiday glued to their laptop or smart phone. I was once away on my own at a place where most people were on their own and it was interesting how people coped. Some kept to themselves, but others started conversations and joined together to make fun. One person just could not wean themselves off their laptop and phone even though they had been encouraged to come to the place to chill out for their health. They left after two days instead of the planned week.

We only get one shot at life. We really need to organize ourselves and those around us to participate fully in what we are doing, be it being on holiday or being at work or being at home. The past 18 months the lines between work and home have blurred considerably so if you are not going away for a break but staying at home it is even more important to note what ‘time-off’ means. Why not treat your ‘stay-at-home’ break in the same way as travelling away?

  1. Get ready – plan your ‘trip’ – choose your food menus (maybe a theme such as Greek or Italian, French etc as if you were travelling there); get in some DVDs/boxsets for wet days; book outings and plan picnics.
  2. Finalise work – wind up what work you can; arrange cover for while you are away (for those who work alone why not use the services of Moneypenny to manage your calls and diary while you are away); put on your ‘out of office’ on your emails and notify all those who need to know of the start and end dates of your holiday.
  3. Drinks – whatever rocks your boat, make sure you have in the fridge/larder all the ingredients for your favourite refreshments so you can start with a bang – a glass of fizz maybe – and have your daily ‘happy hour’ whilst on holiday.
  4. Learn something new – if you can’t learn a sport in a holiday destination maybe you can learn a new one locally or if not, why not try learning something else like a day at a cookery school or a day at a local education centre learning pottery or painting etc.?
  5. Dive into culture – see a show, visit a museum, listen to a concert all available online if you cannot get to a real one live. Perhaps you have always associated fun with professional shows in London when there is an amateur group nearby who would love to entertain you or a local museum you have never visited. Now’s the time.
  6. Refresh your home – it might just be the chance to give it a deep clean or you may want to go further and embark on some DIY or plan a renovation and book all the people necessary to make it happen.
  7. Have a date! This is a holiday after all so spend some quality time with your partner and do what they want for a day in return for vice versa.
  8. Get to know your family better – work on building your family tree – it can just be fun to call on family members to learn more about them or it could be doing some research to find your ancestors.
  9. Have fun with friends – arrange a party – it could just be one-to-one or it could be a BBQ or even a larger event it depends on you, your budget and whether you like socializing but chatting with friends and learning how they are coping and generally sharing life with them is a really joy.
  10. Plan your next trip – virtual or real, home or away it is good to have something to look forward to.

I am sure you will have loads of wonderful ideas. At least I hope you do and make them reality. Have a brilliant summer and come back refreshed and raring to go at work and life once more.

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