Choosing between work and celebrating the holidays can be tough. But do we have to choose?
Workaholics are horrible at holidays.
Some feel guilty about taking so many days off. Others don’t take the days off, instead choosing to work through them. Then there are the folks like me who want to do both. This puts us in an awkward position. When we want to both work and celebrate the holidays, we have to choose between the two.
But do we really have to choose?
No, and yes.
I don’t think choosing between work and play is a binary decision to make. Perhaps it is to some, but not to most. Work is something I love to do. It’s something that lights my fire and keeps me excited about life. My friends gave me such grief this past year because I worked straight through my birthday.
My birthday is my day, so I chose to do something I loved that day. Of course, I love my friends. We went out that weekend, but not that day.
However, the holidays are different than birthdays.
Holidays aren’t my days. They’re our days. They’re the perfect excuse to excuse yourself from obligations other than familial obligations.
When the day isn’t about us, then we’ve got to ask ourselves an important question.
What’s most important, and when?
On my birthday, I chose to work. Seems like a simple decision, but the reason I chose to do so reveals something important about me: my work is how I love myself.
Have you thought about how you love yourself? How you best receive love?
Not all of us receive love in the same way, and the holidays are the perfect time to tune into how others receive love.
Without giving too much away, my partner feels love the most through touch and shared experiences. She and I structure our schedules to make sure we have enough of both of those things, despite how full our schedules might be.
Personally, I feel the most love when she gives me space to work and when we’re totally present with the person in front of us. We’re constantly experimenting with different ways to fulfill each other’s needs.
One of our favorites is when we’re quietly working alongside each other on our own things, then making sure we share our break time. Sometimes we’ll even finish the work day by exploring a bar or museum we’ve never been to, two things both of us enjoy.
This approach can work for your holiday.
If you’re like me and simply can’t resist working during the holiday season, take some time to plot out when you’re going to work. On the days you’re not going to work, don’t work. Block those days out to focus on loving the people around you. They deserve it, especially for the patience it takes to put up with us!
Have a discussion with your loved ones about what they want to do together. Listen, then do.
Your full presence may be the best present they’ll receive this Christmas.
Photo: Flickr/Barta IV