The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Friday, September 04, 2015

And relax ...

Towards the end of last year, I was complaining that I was twiddling my thumbs after a whole series of things I was meant to be working on got delayed. Well, thankfully, most of them did finally get going at the start of this year ... perhaps inevitably, all at the same time! After some negotiation, I managed to stack them one after the other, but it gave me a really punishing schedule that started in January and is due to go through to mid-December with no respite.

I'm not complaining, it's good to be busy and they're all really interesting, challenging projects. But it's very difficult to sustain levels of energy and creative momentum over such a long period of time. I worked out just now that in around 110 working days since mid-Feb (taking out days away at conferences, teacher training, etc.) I've produced 156 pages of material - and it's all been at upper-int or advanced level, so that's quite a lot of text per page. (And of course, that doesn't account for planning, redrafting, etc.) My time is no longer measured in days or weeks, but in spreads and units!!

It's been a long slog with lots of long days, weekend working and no such thing as a Bank Holiday, but I have managed to grab a couple of breaks. Back in May, I had a proper week's holiday, escaping to a cliff-top cabin in the south of Spain to relax and recharge. The setting and the weather were beautiful, but I found I spent most of the holiday grouchy and unable to relax, at points finding myself in tears of frustration because my much-looked-forward-to break wasn't working out as I'd so desperately hoped. Of course, it was the built-up tension from the previous weeks at my desk coming out and it wasn't until the last couple of days that I started to properly wind down and enjoy myself.

My partner seemed to have no trouble at all relaxing!

Then at the start of August, I had an unexpected week 'off' when there was a delay to the project I was working on. I had visions of a week spent pottering in the garden and of sunny days out, but beyond one sunny morning wandering around Bristol with my camera, it rained pretty solidly all week! So instead I worked my way through a long to-do list of work (admin, book-keeping) and domestic chores. Not much fun, but definitely a much-needed catch-up.

Tomorrow, I head off for my second proper holiday of the year, a week in Malta. This time I'm determined not to fall into the 'desperate-to-relax' trap again and I'm going to try really hard just to go with the flow ... if that's not a contradiction in itself!

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