At my last major networking session this month, our fabulous host – Aruna Rao, of Busy Women Networking – brought back some long-dormant memories without even knowing it. Ten minutes before the scheduled end, she encouraged Ali Moore – drawing the raffle – to “hurry up, I’m breaking up for the summer holidays after this!”.

Breaking up! A LOT of years have elapsed since I applied those magical words to myself. So much promise in that phrase, so much excitement, so much possibility! It meant the end of some things, and the start of many others…the end of obligations, appointments, schedules; and the start of free time, leisure pursuits, and possibly even a trip away…

In my working life, the approach of holidays (or the rather maturely and boringly styled ‘annual leave’) has been a double-edged sword: excitement about the time off, tempered by the amount of work I would need to do to prepare for my absence. There’s always something else to think about, more loose ends to tie up, things that can’t possibly wait until your return, or they won’t get done at all.

‘Breaking up’ is a different mindset altogether. It’s giving yourself the licence you had as a teenager to leave everything about school behind you, as you step onto that bus home; to forget about all the hard slogging you did that term, all the lessons, all the homework, and put your energy into something else for a short while.

It’s allowing yourself freedom from all of those feelings of obligation that surround work and its trappings – not that they don’t exist, but that they have their place, and you’ll return to them refreshed and renewed. It means I’m being easier on myself about what absolutely has to be done before the end of this week, and what I can schedule in for when I’m back. Just another little mindset change that can have a surprisingly liberating effect.

So today, I’m not “taking a week or two off”, or having some ‘annual leave’ – I’m “breaking up for the summer”, and I can’t wait!

One of the things I’m taking easier on myself is blogging, so there won’t be any new posts for the next couple of weeks. I’ll be sharing one or two old favourites to my Facebook page though, and you can browse the archives here:

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