Wednesday, 4 January 2012


“Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life” - Harvey Mackay
While I am still officially on holidays, I went in to work for a short time today as I was in the City and close by. We are officially open, but we are operating with a skeleton staff, the majority of people returning to work next Monday. It was quite strange going into my office with hardly anybody around and feeling a little bit like a visitor. Even as I sat down on my chair at my desk, it felt quite peculiar – mainly because of my psychological state, I guess. I was still in “holiday mood”. The main reason I went in was to water my pot-plants, which after the heat over the last few days certainly needed it.

I chatted with a colleague who has already gone back to work as part of the skeleton staff and we discussed the holiday break. Neither of us had gone away over the break and we were both bemoaning the fact that holidays pass all too soon, and before one knows it, it is time to return to work again. As he is quite a lot younger than me, I had to observe that he will certainly have to work for many years more than me still, before he considers retirement. Whereas, if I take the option of early retirement I can certainly retire by next year.

I have always enjoyed my various jobs and every morning I look forward to going into work. However, after a long haul of many months without a break and without a holiday, one’s mind and body feels the effects of accumulated stresses and anxieties, and going off on a protracted break is certainly attractive; to recharge the batteries, so to speak. In the past we used to travel quite a great deal, both locally and abroad. However, as the years pass by, we seem to travel much less. It must be a sign of increasing age, perhaps.

It may also have something to do with the world’s woes at the present time. It is quite disturbing to hear the news every morning. The continuing bad news of the global financial crisis, wars, terrorism, kidnappings, abductions, racial hatred, mass migrations, political instability, uncertainty… It seems to be the same the world over. I am wondering if all of this was happening in the past as well, but being younger we did not heed it as much. As one ages, some things become less important, while others fade into insignificance. Age changes us and it changes the way we see the world.

I am content to have travelled all over the world when I was younger. I consider myself lucky to have been in places that most people would only know from their geography book or as some hard to pronounce name only seen once on an atlas page. The great majority of people I met on my travels and the most places I visited provided me with a wealth of positive experiences and a firm belief that we humans are extremely similar no matter what our skin colour, our religion or our politics. Human culture is astounding in its variety, our customs and manners may differ, but deep down we all share a basic humanity, a sense of humour and wonder with which we view our world. We all wish to share our experiences with fellow humans and most of us are generous, friendly and hospitable with even complete strangers.

When I hear the bad news, I take heart, given my past travels and positive experiences. There are some bad apples in this barrel of our world, but fortunately they are only a minority. The trouble is that these evil people can make the world such a horrible place for the silent, ever-suffering majority of the good ones… The perennial quandary seems to be how to identify the bad apples and get rid of them before they ruin the whole barrelful!

travel |ˈtravəl| verb ( travels, traveling , traveled ; also chiefly Brit. travels, travelling, travelled)
1 [ no obj. ] Make a journey, typically of some length or abroad: The vessel had been travelling from Libya to Ireland | We travelled thousands of miles in our last journey abroad.
• [ with obj. ] Journey along (a road) or through (a region): He travelled the world with the army.
• (usu. as adj. travelling) go or be moved from place to place: A travelling exhibition.
informal Resist motion sickness, damage, or some other impairment on a journey: He usually travels well.
• Be enjoyed or successful away from the place of origin: Accordion music travels well.
dated go from place to place as a sales representative: He travelled for a shoe company through Mississippi.
• (of an object or radiation) Move, typically in a constant or predictable way: Light travels faster than sound.
informal (esp. of a vehicle) Move quickly.
2 [ no obj. ] Basketball take more than the allowed number of steps (typically two) while holding the ball without dribbling it.
the action of travelling, typically abroad: I have a job that involves a lot of travel.
• (travels) journeys, esp. long or exotic ones: Perhaps you'll write a book about your travels.
• [ as modifier ] (of a device) designed so as to be sufficiently compact for use on a journey: A travel iron.
• the range, rate, or mode of motion of a part of a machine.
ORIGIN Middle English: variant of travail and originally in the same sense.

1 comment:

  1. May your return to work be pleasant and productive for the holidays are soon forgotten.