From Awareness Builder 101: Chapter 9

July 05, 2024

9. Holiday


No, I am not in a grumpy mood! And yes, I think holiday is a totally misunderstood concept!


The weeks before we leave, we work our ass off. We’re convinced that after our holiday there will be ‘the big nothing’ or at least it’ll be too late for almost everything and we for sure need to close that last deal. It’s our last chance after all! We’re stressed out and sleep really bad. We have these stupid arguments with the people we love and are supposed to go on a holiday with. We need to go and see our mother since it’s not really acceptable, after months of forgetting about her, to leave without saying goodbye.

We race to the airport and hate all these other idiots who are also stressed out whilst going to the same airport. Or, when we’ve decided to drive it’s even more interesting. We get up at 3 AM to avoid the horrible traffic jams to find out we’re not the only ones who had that brilliant idea. So by the time we get to the French motorway, the kids are monsters and mom and dad are no longer talking to each other. The only reasonable voice in the car comes from the navigation system who tells us it’s only another 666 kilometres to our destination. This is hell! Back ‘talking’ we argue that we’ve been working hard all year and spending far too much money on this damned holiday. Yes, the perfect way to start these most special weeks of the year… Not!!


I’m thinking back of my grandfather. Born in 1900. Died at the blessed age of 82 when he stepped on his bike to go and buy milk. Instead he went to heaven. Reflecting on his life, how he created balance, I also started to wonder why he wasn’t stressed out because he never went on a holiday.

Here are my observations. He understood the word holiday and its origin really well. Holiday comes from the words Holy Day. A day set aside to rest, to spend time with the family, to do NOTHING! Time to worship and reflect. Yes, he was a religious man so he also went to church, but those who were not religious followed a similar pattern. They set aside time for the other important things in life. Everything other than work. In addition, they created some holiday in every day. Even though 12 hours working days were pretty normal, they had their little moments of rest in every single day. Blessed with not having TV nor smartphone, they had time to talk with each other whilst having diner, whilst drinking coffee in the evening. To read a book. To tell stories. To simply stare out of the window. To walk to the fence and observe the sheep. To pray or simply be silent.


A little holy time makes every day a holy day. Granting yourself that, when you then go for your holiday, you might be able to enjoy that even more…..



Journaling questions for this chapter:


How relaxed, or stressed do I start my holiday and what do I make up about that?


Where do I find a bit of holy day in every day?


How do I choose to start my next holiday?



© 2024. Alex Verlek, Coaching Works International.


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