This week in the UK is half term, with children being off school for a week. This to me, has always represented a juggling act (even more than my usual working weeks): getting work done, finding childcare (usually begging grandparents), and spending quality time with the boys. This juggling act used to make me feel utterly exhausted by the end of the week and I’d go back to work feeling like I really needed a holiday.
Now life is different. I am lucky enough to work for myself and decide what hours I work and because of this I deliberately do not book coaching or training during the school holidays. But as a self-confessed workaholic, I have always found it difficult to find the right balance. I have always favoured life on the chaotic-side, meaning that unless I am a little closer to burnout than most would find comfortable, I feel that I am not doing enough. Consequently, in the run up to holidays I usually develop a long list of tasks that I will get done on my days at home; as well as planning day trips and quality time with the kids.
This half-term started no differently: the list included cleaning cupboards that are so over-filled, I can no longer tell what’s in them; developing content for my website; updating social media profiles; sorting out my tax; and of course, spending days playing with my children and making sure I got quality parent / child time.
But along the way, something changed. As usual my boys wanted to play cricket & football at every opportunity – but instead of bargaining with them so that I could get my long list achieved and spend time with them; I stopped myself in my tracks and just went along with it. As a result my days have been more relaxed & more fun; and I have felt that I have really spent quality time with my boys (rather than the token slot of time I usually allocate). Living life at a different pace has been rewarding – and whilst the to-do list is still full, the list can wait until tomorrow – my children however, are growing up too fast to let them wait.