I don’t know about you, but I find the first couple of days back at work from holiday rather difficult, especially when it has been a particularly good one?
I see it in other people too. During that first morning they seem to roam around aimlessly looking for people to talk to, putting off the hard landing of opening their dreaded mailbox.
The sad part is that no one really wants to hear about their trip. It’s not because they are not interested, it’s just that they do not want to be reminded that there is another life outside work.
This phenomenon reminds me of a story a colleague recently told me. She was on a long haul flight travelling back from Asia when the man next to her started moving his hands and arms around, swirling them above his head and in front of his chest in deliberate rhythmic patterns. At the same time he kept bowing up and down and talking to himself in rather strange and severe kind of way. She caught the attention of a stewardess who politely asked the man if he was OK.“Oh yes fine!, very fine”, he said. “May I ask you what you are doing?” said the stewardess. “Indeed” replied the man, “no problem. I am praying. I am praying because my body is here but my spirit is still not”.
And so it is with many things when, we are in one place but our hearts and minds are somewhere else. And just like the Indian on the plane, sometimes it takes a few days for the two of them to be fully re-united again.
In some ways we have a kind of ‘holiday world’ and we have ‘a business world’. And although our bodies are fixed and cannot be in both places at the same time, our spirits can; fluttering between them like restless birds looking for a comfortable place to perch.
It is a shame to have to leave our holiday world behind, but leave it we know we must. I find bringing a photograph into to the office helps, not to show others (they do not belong in your holiday world) but just to look at at certain times during the first few days. It helps my spirit relax and flow a little more freely between the two; until it finally catches up with my body and settles down within it in work mode once again.
Have a good week,