You may know that I have been working on my third book, well today I actually handed it in for typesetting and printing. The next milestone will be the proof copy in the letter box.  The French, German and Dutch translations are now in their final editing stages too – the project is coming to an end you might think, but you would be wrong!

No sooner had I typed the last few words, I went off for a holiday, not an activity holiday but a relaxing holiday, you know the kind; sitting in the sunshine, sipping wine, reading the books I had put off for so long, wondering what will be on the menu for supper.  This was a real holiday, with big chunks of time that needed filling.

When my eyes were tired of reading I lay back and listened to radio programs that I had downloaded a while back. But then gradually, ever so gradually, new ideas for my next books came into my head: snippets of conversations, scenes where the characters of my latest book took on new personas. The next thing I knew, they were on holiday too! I started imagining where Simon would take his wife Jennifer, I imagined an argument between Peter the production director and a hotel receptionist.  I guess if I told this to a psychiatrist they would probably declare me psychotic: unreal people sharing a holiday with me in my head, that can’t be normal can it?

But the flight back and the hard reality of deadlines and demanding colleagues and clients certainly brought me back to the real world. The characters from my book went back to work too it seems, no time for them to fill my head anymore with their concerns.

The day after I got back, I gave a training and one of the participants told the group how she went to Africa to help the poor orphaned children. She told us that even though many of them had no possessions at all, except maybe for a stone or a twig, they were all happy, living each day for the day. There was no planning ahead, no cares about tomorrow. What will be, will be. When she compared them with her own children, who had everything but were still far from content; demanding every minute of their lives to be filled with events and stuff, I could not help reflect that I too had far too much stuff and far too many concerns about the future.  I think we, in the west, have much to reflect on, much to re-consider.

This week, I will be away on business for three nights and every moment of everyday is fully planned and documented in my agenda from 08:00 to midnight. Even this morning I was trying to squeeze in an extra thirty minute telco for Friday afternoon. I ask myself – is this normal, is this how it should be?

Have a good week,