Enjoying the holidays

Confession time: for the first time in a long while, I was actually sorry to see my children go back to school this morning.  Although my clients, collaborators and other work-related partners will be relieved to see me head back for my computer, coaching sessions and training courses.  Not to mention the relief of my bank account after an income-less week!

Yet I actually enjoyed this half-term holiday, achieved a good combination of external and home-based activities, barely screamed at the children and just relished their remarkably well-behaved, helpful and amusing company.  So what was different?  I suppose the answer was ‘my attitude’.  Instead of looking upon the holidays as a nuisance interruption of my work and forever being with one eye on my Inbox, I deliberately chose to keep my laptop switched off.  I threw myself wholeheartedly into playing, laughing, chatting and doing silly things with the children.  The result?  I felt like I had swallowed some Wonka-Vite pills and turned twenty years younger.

I don’t think the comparison is entirely forced if I say that I felt I had fully embraced their culture and their world, instead of judging them from my grown-up perspective and culture.  I had entered their perception of time (i.e. we have all the time in the world), their concept of value and status (i.e. you may play tennis better, but I have superpowers).   It wasn’t an entirely one-way process either.  We played lots of board games and by winning some and losing some, by crying some and laughing some, we all learnt to cope and move on.  I like to believe that some of my grown-up messages were thus reinforced.

I don’t think that this ‘total immersion’ thing is possible or even desirable all the time, but, while it lasted, it refreshed us all, created even stronger bonds and mutual understanding.  Now, let me think of a way or replicating this in cross-cultural coaching and training…

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1 Comment

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One response to “Enjoying the holidays

  1. Hi Sanda – I just had to leave a comment to say I understand totally how you felt about your week. I work from home, trying to balance working on building a business I love with children that I love. I can so relate to the ‘one eye on the inbox’ and also the decision to take a work free child focused week. I did the same this half term – forced to by going away – yes I took my laptop but due to a rubbish hotel connection was forced to recognise that work could actually wait and focusing and giving my undivided attention to my children – was a hit and a success – we had a great time and I returned refreshed and reminded that it is good to just tune in to your kids 100% every so often!! OK now we’re back to juggling and balancing but I have instilled a new personal rule – kid time is kid time and there is no peeping at my email/twitter etc – well I’m trying at least!
    I enjoyed reading your blogs by the way!
    Louise

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