Being Apart – A Part of Being

Today (Easter Monday) I’m flying off to Riga to continue my work with the Latvian Government on smart use of social media and how to build an effective online presence for their tenure of the EU Presidency in 2015. I’m excited. Riga is the 2014 European Capital of Culture and when I’m not working, I look forward to exploring the city.

I love my work. I love where it takes me, and how it challenges me too. And I miss being away from home – a lot. I’m not complaining, just acknowledging that for me, home is where the heart is. So when we are all here, at home together, we try and make the most of it.

Euan Semple wrote something about proper days off on Facebook last week and he’s kindly agreed I can share it with you here.

Proper days off

When she heard that I was flying home on a Saturday a friend of my wife’s response was “Oh do they make you work on a Saturday”. My head went numb as I struggled with who “they” might be, the idea of “making” me do something, and trying to remember what Saturday used to mean as compared to the rest of the week.

The freelance life challenges many of our assumptions about work. It is unpredictable, has fuzzy edges, and there is no “them” telling you what to do. It calls on a steely nerve, for the times when work isn’t coming in, and considerable self discipline to maintain a balance between work and non-work. Especially working from home the lines can get very blurred. Add to this the fact that I love what I do and there is a real risk of working all the time.

I am aware that my photos on Facebook can give the impression that I am always having fun but that’s because the bad bits are less photogenic! I climb hills and take the chance when I am here to do things with my family to really turn off my work head. To make sure that I have proper days off.

The past few days have been spent as family time. We’ve shopped together, done some painting and decorating together (without too much arguing – honestly!), played together, eaten together, and laughed together. You can’t really call it a weekend because all this fun started last Wednesday, and for now, Easter Sunday is where it stops.

Proper days off. They don’t have to be a Saturday, a Sunday or even a Bank Holiday Monday. They just need to be invested in when the chance comes along. See you soon.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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