Tag: Holidays

Making the best of holidays

Just as a puppy can be more of a challenge than a gift, so too can the holidays. John Clayton

With the Divali season around the corner, a sizeable section of the people in India are already in a holiday frenzy. Soon thereafter Christmas would be around the corner and practically three fourths of the rest of the world would be experiencing the same holiday frenzy.  While everyone eagerly looks forward to the holidays, the overwhelming majority of people are confused, apprehensive and hesitant about how to make best use of the holidays. Worse still is the fact that most people are completely unprepared to welcome the holidays. As a result the holiday season can often be a stressful period unless one makes adequate preparations to make the best use of the gift of holidays.

For those wedded to customs, traditions and rituals, the initial part of the holidays are well laid out in as much as they follow the accepted customs and norms. The real challenge is thereafter. Travel is the most preferred option for many but the destination poses problems as much as the means of travel and the duration. Of course the biggest headache still remains the finances. What is not really noticed is that the real problem is ‘not paying attention to planning and preparing’ for the holidays. Any form of travel involves reasonable planning right from destination to dates and mode of travel and stay and how best to utilize the time at the chosen destination. If for whatever reason travel is ruled out then making the best use of holidays requires even more thought and deliberation for the options are rarely crystal clear mainly because we don’t pay much attention to it and prefer to work out on the spur of the moment. Net result is that we end the holidays with a sense of regret of having wasted it.

So the question that begs attention is ‘what else can one do with the holidays’?  Here are some alternatives for reflection and perusal especially for those not traveling during the holidays.

  • Catch up on reading / movies / hobbies/ some quirks that were left on the back burner (eg. Experimenting with or understanding alternate therapy’s, learning magic / card tricks, go bird watching with a professional)
  • Reorganizing the house and bring about some much needed change including rummaging through piled up / hoarded knick knacks and disposing of the unwanted stuff.
  • Entertaining people who you could not otherwise invite due to, either their preoccupation or your own hectic life style.
  • Detailed planning, (especially if a surprise party is planned) for some important events coming up like the golden jubilee of your parents wedding anniversary or a milestone birthday of a close relative.
  • You can indulge the spouse / children/ family members with some surprises like a swim and dinner or day long picnic to a completely new locale.
  • Use the holidays to sensitize the family to the needs of others and the reality of life by visiting an orphanage/ old age home/ shelter for challenged children or invite a couple of challenged children home to spend a day.

Many of you reading this post would suddenly get wary and wonder if the alternatives listed are practical and more importantly would the end result be a real holiday. It is all a matter of attitude. If you can plan and prepare, the efforts will never be wasted even if the end result is not what is hoped for.  Unless you try you never know. In any case by experimenting it will just be one holiday season that could be wasted but by never planning most holidays would end up being a challenge rather than a pleasure.

Remember: Holidays in general breed unrealistic expectations. The minute you start wondering, ‘is it going to be wonderful enough?, it never will be.  Pepper Schwartz

Try this:

  1. Assuming that finance is not a constraint make a list of alternates that you will have lined up if you get a 4 day holiday suddenly.
  2. Recollect the best holiday you ever had. Now also recount the  worst holiday season that you went through when you felt your holidays were wasted ( if you fell sick or a tragedy occurred then do not count them as worst holidays). Can you identify the reasons that made the first holiday so much fun and the other one a rather indifferent or miserable one?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Making the best of holidays

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell. George Bernard Shaw

For those who are wondering why this blog has not been updated, let me clarify that I was on a holiday in Mysore and Waynad (Kerala). While it was a  well planned and refreshing break, I did occasionally feel guilty that I was not updating the blogs and in rare moments of boredom, did miss the fast pace of professional life. I thought it appropriate therefore to share my views on the above quote on holidays and put matters in perspective.

With very rare exceptions, almost every human being has at some point in time yearned to take a long holiday, preferably a perennial one. The idea of a holiday is often too simplistic and is often simply interpreted as ‘doing nothing’, ‘lazing around’ just relaxing’ or ‘doing just what I want’. Some of us could possibly have undergone a forced holiday due to a job loss or having to quit a job for reasons beyond ones control or forced into taking sick leave to recoup from some major illness but the stress that accompanies such holidays makes it a psychological torture. There could also be a miniscule lot who have taken voluntary retirement with no clear plans as to what to do next. The common thread in all these holidays is that ‘Time suddenly seems to weigh heavily’ on us and the uncertainty of how to while away ones time suddenly becomes an ominous dilemma.

A good holiday therefore should be one that is discerned, earned and planned. While some holidays could be thoroughly enjoyed when they are spontaneous and sudden, the real fun of a holiday is in selecting the right time of the holiday, the type of holiday sought and in ensuring that it is something that will bring pleasure, relaxation and a lingering pleasure. This is tricky especially if it is a family holiday for each member would have different expectations and ideas about the holiday. Discernment then is all about finding the right balance and consensus. Anyone with money can afford to simply splurge on holidays and possibly have a lifelong holiday. The reality is that hardly anyone does it because the real fun of a holiday is when we are convince we truly deserve a break, a change of scene and e do not feel guilty of taking off without having complete the expected chores expected of us. Holidays should elp one unwind, enable all who are holidaying to experience a different high and most of all help one soak in the moment, the pleasure and the leisure.

The kicker in any holiday is the fun of planning it out; the thrill of exploring possibilities, fitting it all in within a time and budget constraints and ensuring that we do not miss out on anything. While the intent is right, the reality is that the planning involves a lot of stress, fortunately most of it is positive stress, and it helps us connect with our human self through varied emotions of hope, frustration, joy, regret, confusion, frustration, and ecstasy when one puts it all together. More than anything else planning provides purpose and goals which keep us focused and provides us the carrot of motivation, the pleasure of anticipation, the wonder of experience and the thrill of achievement all of which adds up to make an enjoyable holiday.

If you just take of on a holiday and if that is a long drawn one, then after the initial euphoria of being a free bird is over, the lack of goals, the absence of a sense of purpose, the monotony of trying to battle with time and frustration of not achieving anything worthwhile will make life painful, boring and tortuous; something akin to hell on earth.

Remember: Every man who possibly can, should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not. William James

Try this:

  1. Make a list of the various types of holidays you would like to ideal take. A couple of ideas are given below for your ready reference
  • Visit the wildlife
  • Explore the mountain side/ valleys
  • Go trekking
  • Explore the wonders overseas
  • Go back packing/ cycling
  • Make a religious tour
  • Spend time with tribals
  1.  Analyze the last holiday you had and list our 3 good things and 3 things that you could have planned better. Now work on a 2 week holiday plan to be executed before the end of  May 2012.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com