It's the first day of a four-week vacation I've been looking forward to for months now. Time to unwind from the stress of the office, and to do a few of the things I don't get around to in the nine-to-five grind (nine to six, in my case). And although I plan to distance myself from my everyday routine, and my everyday state of mind, I don't plan to "escape."
What do I mean by that?
A few years back, when I was working somewhere else, a colleague of mine came back from a multi-week vacation. I asked him how it had been. "Wonderful," he said, "I didn't think about this place for one second." At the time, this sounded just fine to me. But now I think this typifies a psychopathology of our times.
Indeed, I plan to allow myself to let thoughts of work slide for a few days, maybe even a week or two. I'm lucky enough to have the kind of job that I don't have to stay in contact with the office even when I'm on holiday. I'm a corporate editor. I'm either there to edit or I'm not. So I don't have to think about the office. But I also don't plan to blank it out, like it's some kind of bad dream I'd rather forget.
Eventually, during some of my more reflective moments, I plan to think about my workplace. "On vacation?" you say, "Are you nuts?"
I've had a change of attitude in recent years. Most of my life I made a sharp division between my work -- the place where I made the money I need -- and my "real" life (friends, family, intellectual and artistic pursuits, mystical studies). But the job I have now was the result of intense visualization, and part of the way I got the job involved a prescient dream, and a coincidental (read: synchronistic) conversation with a casual acquaintance. This job was fate. Now I realize that most, if not all, of my previous jobs had been fate, too. Now I pay more attention to what happens at work. I do my best to apply myself to the work. Not out of ambition, but out of a sense that it is a path of growth and development. I pay more attention to the relationships I develop with people in the office. In general, I try to be as aware and conscious as possible at work, and about work.
But things go wrong, and I recognize repeated patterns that have hindered and hurt me in the past. Now I meditate on problems and challenges I have at work and visualize the things I desire to manifest in my work world. But that can be very hard when you are in the thick of it.
Now that I'm on vacation, I plan to take some time to think about work, and to visualize the solutions to problems that have plagued me. In proportion to the rest of my vacation, it will be a tiny fraction of the time. But with that little bit of investment, I will be better prepared to return to the office, and I will have set energies in motion that will aid me in mastering the situation once I've returned.