A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone who I had recently just met. We spoke about work and what we did for a living. The conversation moved on to taking a year off work and wouldn’t it be amazing if we could do that with no money worries. Although this is highly unlikely and more pie in the sky it was a very interesting idea. But what would we each love to do with 12 months off work?
They spoke about spending a full year reading. Wow! Wouldn’t that be amazing. I began thinking about all the books I could enjoy and take my time over. I wouldn’t just confine myself to reading fiction, no, I could really get stuck into some factual books too. What a wonderful year it would be.
It would be an absolute dream. I began to think how I would structure my day, what would be the first fiction book and non fiction book I would read. Would I read from the moment I woke up to the moment I go to sleep? Where would I read? In my house, if so what room or rooms, or would I go out and about? So many decisions to make. If only it was possible to take a year out to read.
It would be incredible, but the reality is, it is not going to happen. Bills need to be paid, mortgages don’t just stop because I stop working. So for now, this brilliant idea, is not an option.
But I wasn’t able to let this go. The more I thought about it, the more I really wanted to do it. However, as I’m not in a position to just give up work and go for it, I was thinking there must be an alternative.
So here are some ideas I came up with that would give me the time and space to read, without having to take 12 months off work. Now what would you do with your time?
Take a weeks holiday from work – Ok, so 7 days is not the same as 365, however, a week of intense reading would be quite satisfying and give you a good chunk of time to read several books. As you can take your holidays when you want to, fit a week off when it suits you best. I know this would be trickier to do if you have children and have to balance time off with their holidays. So perhaps one of the other options below would be better suited.
Take one day’s holiday a month or every quarter – This might be more practical than a full week off and would be much easier to do with children (if you can afford the time) as you could take a day off during the week and know you have until your children come home from school. Could you ask someone to take them until the evening so you could make the most of your day off.
Take a weekend a month or each quarter to read (or do what you would want to do for a year). This options requires no time off work (if you are lucky enough to not work weekends) but could be more challenging for some people with caring responsibilities.
Take an hour a day for a year and do what you are excited about. This I feel is the most suitable and easy to implement option. It means you’ll still get a year of doing what you want, without the need to take a year out. You will be able to do a little each day and it might just be enough to satisfy that itch you’ve got. If you are unsure about if you can afford the time, then start small – go for 15 minutes or 30 minutes as this may be what works for you. You could always split the time if it is easier to fit into your busy day.
Although having a year off would allow you to spend time doing something you love, it’s difficult to do this in reality. But there are many alternatives we can look at and some I have mentioned above.
Have a think about what you would you do if you could take a year off? Travel the world? Write a book? Learn a language then book a holiday to the country. Maybe you want to perfect your cooking skills and book a course or two? What about learning to rock climb or climb Everest? The possibilities are endless. Make a list and see what you come up with.
Then come up with what you could do to fit it into your life schedule. The plan has to work for you, so do what fits in best.
Let me know how you get on. Have a great week.
Love Emma xx
2 thoughts on “A Year to do…”
I love the energy of this blog Emma! There is so much space and lightness in opening up to the possibilities that are there for us all if we are willing to be curious and explore. I love that you suggest we can begin with 15 or 30 minutes a day which may feel more do-able than a whole year and I wonder if this is less about the amount of time and perhaps even the location, and more about the feeling connects us to – freedom, expansion, pleasure, joy. I don’t know about you but I can get very caught up in the day to day “doing” of life which usually comes from an energy of obligation, commitment, perfection, responsibility so what you’re offering here is way more appealing!
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Hi Susan, thanks for your comments. I agree with you, we tend to get bogged down in our commitments and responsibilities that we forget about our own wants and needs for fun and excitement.
Starting small and building up to a time which suits us, will give us progress and a sense of achievement.
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