There’s a lot to be said on the age-old debate of Work/Life balance. Sadly, most people don’t have it – I certainly didn’t when I was working in the corporate world. Speaking from experience, it’s easy to become chained to your desk or company mobile, or find yourself preoccupied with work-related matters whilst you’re sat eating your tea… Or, staring blankly at the television, silently panicking about something that’s happened during the day/is going to happen tomorrow at work. OR p*ssing off those you’re spending time with outside of work by constantly talking about work.
The worst part of it all is that by the time your day(s) off comes around, you’re often so completely knackered from work that you have the motivation to do absolutely nothing and BEFORE YOU KNOW IT it’s Sunday evening, you’re lying in bed STILL exhausted, wondering where the bloody heck the weekend went and, above all, dreading work the following day.
What. A. Waste.
SO so so. With that in mind, when the Boy and I discovered that we had a full, free, completely unexpected day off on Friday, we decided to make the most of it. Which meeeans…
Wilsons Prom, Victoria
This gem of a national park is situated on the very southern coast of Australia, about 2 hours driving from us in the Yarra Valley. We decided, rather than wake ourselves up at some ungodly hour the next morning, we’d take the drive of an evening. It broke things up nicely – we found a beautiful campground on the Bass Strait, just outside of the park, and made it just in time for sunset… The tide was out, leaving the weathered fishing boats beached on the sand. The setting sun cast a pink glare across the cloudy sky.
Not going to lie, it was picture bloody perfect.
We spent the evening playing cards in our makeshift home… I beat the Boy at crib.
The Prom is one of Australia’s most famed and well-loved national parks, set up beautifully with a ton of trails, from family-friendly wanders, to more “hardcore” overnight treks. The day was overcast, but the cloud was high – perfect hiking weather.
We wandered along the winding waterways of Tidal River, wending its way through the mountains to find the ocean; we climbed to the peak of Mount Bishop and gazed from there over the stunning coastline, boasting almost symmetrical bays of pristine sand and crystal-clear waters; we ate a slap-up picnic lunch at Picnic Bay, completely and utterly alone but for the seagulls hopping about.
Lovely, lovely, lovely stuff.
To top things off, we had a sweet drive home – there must have been a classic car meet or convention of some kind happening as we spent the whole journey admiring old, awesome cars driving past us. There were literally hundreds of them.
We arrived back at the farm happy, content – tired, ready for bed, sure. But not dreading work the next day – appreciating, really, that a day of work tomorrow equals another great day off, another time.
I never used to make the most of days off. I would be so tired that I’d sleep in until noon, then watch Jezza all day. Either that, or the feeling of freedom a non-school night gives oneself would sweep me up into a frenzy of drinking so much as soon as 5pm hit, that I would (not undeservedly) suffer a 2-day hangover… Which, as it happens, also results in sleeping in until noon, then watching Jezza all day.
I am quite aware, for those of you out there cringing and groaning at my words right now, that it is easier said than done. Trust me when I say this: I have worked 10-14 hour days, 5 days per week, and I know how shit, exhausted and unmotivated you can feel when the weekend does eventually give you the all-clear to have a little fun.
So next time you have a day off, make some plans for it. Actually, scrap that – go one better, make NO plans and do something spontaneous. Get yourself out of bed and go somewhere – or, better yet, get home from work and head off that very evening, knowing you have a full free day or two ahead of you to enjoy. See a friend you haven’t made time for in a while, or catch up on the odd jobs you’ve been too busy with “work stuff” to recognise as important. Take some time for you, and make the most of it.
It’s a statement I truly live by now, and wish that more people would:
Work to live – don’t live to work.