Life, Transformation

R.I.A #Day 17

100% (3)

Yesterday was my daughter’s last day in this term, which also meant that her holidays had started. “I’m feeling excited about the holiday, but sad about leaving my friends behind.”, she told me in confidence. She is indeed very excited about the holiday, much more than my wife. Both of them love breaks and make elaborate plans. I would be joining them in 2 weeks time, and already I’ve started to get a bit of concern.

For me the subject of holidays is two distinct emotions. On one end, I’m excited about the good times and meeting new people. And on the other, I’m develop anxiety, being concerned about losing time and opportunity. Anyone who knows me, would know how I adore my family and spend lots of time together. Whether it is organizing for a big together or handling the kids, these are precious moments that stay with me for long. But then there are distractions.

Though I enjoy these treasured moments, I feel that it is not complete and the joy won’t last long. Since I’m in process of a setting up a new entity, the more I think of it, the more I feel that the new baby needs more attention. By going on vacation I would deny it of my precious attention. Though, this is being like workaholic, but it is not that. It is not just me, I see a number of friends going through the same seesaw of emotions. In this, we want everything to be available at every time and everywhere, and this expectation includes us.

Relaxation Induced Anxiety (RIA) is not an uncommon term. Relaxation induced anxiety happens when activities that are supposed to be calming trigger worrisome thoughts that have a snowball effect into a general anxiety attack. It could be worrisome thought while you are watching a movie, or when you are sitting comfortably on your beloved sofa and as you enjoy the warmth, you feel as though you have tons of job unfinished and as if your destiny is dependent on it.

Because, we are connected so much to technology, we can be free. The email updates will keep seeking our attention, the calendar reminders will keep popping up and not to forget the few phone calls that you may get while you are on vacation. Pressures play up on your mind. Working makes you feel valuable, indispensable and boosts your self esteem. Taking these away is hard and you are bound to feel insecure. Fortunately, this is not as chronic as the others.

A couple of years back, when I employed and was going to go off on a long vacation, I spoke to all the stakeholders, including my team. On the last day, I spoke to my boss, who was also my mentor. I told him that there was a lot on the plate for the time I would be gone. He smiled and said jokingly, “We will gradually forget you. And will replace you.”. He saw the tension on my face and laughed again. I laughed too, and said that I would be reachable if he needed me. The lesson that I got was that there is no point in worrying, if there is a good system in place. As leaders, we need to strive for that.

Lesson learnt and have been practicing two basic rules for my holidays.

  1. 100% present where you are: Therefore, if on the beach, I would be with my favorite drink and enjoying the sunshine with Priya and Dhriti. I avoid taking my phone. And for the same reason, I hate taking photos, because it makes me use the device.
  2. Allocate time: If I do have to plug in, I either do that early in morning, before everyone wakes up or late at night when every one is sleeping. The work time shouldn’t eat into the holiday time. Sacrosanct.

Though I adhere to these rules with some struggle, I have a feeling that I’m getting there, soon.

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