Somehow I find myself already sitting here by the window at home with the daylight fading on the final twenty four hours of my precious time off. It doesn't seem fair somehow. It's almost as if I've hardly had any time off at all and yet simultaneously it manages to seem quite a while since I was last at work."If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves."Mark Twain
It's always the same at this time of year. One of my main problems is that the maximum time I can take off in one chunk is around two weeks which, what with the weekends, amounts to sixteen days in total. This might sound like a lot but in reality it's only just about enough time for my mind and body to recover and for me to start feeling even remotely human again. But then of course I only get to experience this refreshed feeling for one day at most before having to restart the whole cycle of running myself into the ground again.
That's the trouble with having a so-called "day" job, of course. It's relatively secure in one sense - you don't have to start worrying about whether you're going to be able to pay the rent or bills from month to month and can be reasonably confident that you're not going to find yourself out on the streets or shopping exclusively in Poundland this time next year.
However, the price you pay for this confidence is all your energy. You put so much time and effort into the nine-to-five that come the evenings and weekend you're far to exhausted to enjoy your life. This is largely due to the fact that you're never getting nearly enough sleep.
I'm not the night owl that once I was, but even so, I do notice a distinct difference in my sleeping pattern during the holidays. It's not that I'm going to bed any later (as my bedtime seems to have stabilised somewhat in recent years) but more that given the opportunity I sleep at least a couple of extra hours in the morning, during which time I dream with a passion.
This could conceivably be rather worrying if dreams are (as I suspect) the side effect of an essential mental filing process, semiconscious echoes of The Question Machine receiving essential software updates from the day's experiences. It means that I'm not getting in nearly as much dreaming as I should be and that if I'm not careful my brain will begin to glitch and I'll start finding it increasingly difficult to learn from experience.
So what's the answer? It looks unlikely that in the current economic and social climate any government any time soon is going to reintroduce the three day week, so I need to either start going to bed ridiculously early (and therefore sleeping the rest of my life away) or perhaps radically rethink my life.
"My young men shall never work. Men who work cannot dream, and wisdom comes to us in dreams."