Time to recharge

Dave's annual leave was a bit colder than this.

Today's View with David Richardson

It seems that our lives appear to become busier as time moves on.

The youthful impression of this writer about work and life was that the more you worked when you were young and eager the less you did as you grew older.

This was a belief that I thought would lead me through my later years, being able to enjoy the things I chose to ignore or not devote a lot of my time to. For most of my working life I had viewed the annual leave break as an opportunity to try to keep the family happy as well as keep in contact with work.

Like many men from the baby boomer era, working long and hard to provide more opportunities for our children, I had been an absent father to my three daughters. The result of that choice has been that I am only now enjoying the company of my children and their children.

With this in mind and looking forward to the annual leave break for three weeks, the plan was to visit the middle daughter who in her wisdom decided to marry a sheep farmer. Some eight years ago they had saved a deposit for 1000 acres outside of West Wyalong, about 80km away from his parents’ block, moving their family closer to her husband’s home. Like many Australians the opportunity to visit our families had been drastically curtailed over the previous two years.

As with most plans, it hit a hurdle, my dear wife came down with Covid first, then I in turn quickly followed, now I must say that I was a little disappointed how Covid treated both of us, the Covid symptoms for my partner where very mild, while I appeared to have contracted the very worst strain and to add extra pain, I gained very little sympathy from the family.

After a week and a half and several negative tests, it was decided we would take the trip to West Wyalong. The coldest start to winter had been the headlines for the first eight days, barely seeing the sun in that time and sort of enjoying the wet and cold, it was a novelty to start.

My daughter had a list of chores, especially provided so as I would not feel the bite of boredom, all these jobs to be completed before I could head home.

While not normally a complainer, I did struggle with the high of 5 degrees but felt like 2.5 degrees in the first week, a wind coming across open land tending to make my hands stay in warm pockets and my walk slightly hunched. As most would understand a huge difference to the weather in sunny Central Queensland.

On holidays it is the little things that you tend to enjoy, a coffee with family, trying to find a warm spot in the sun, walking down an unfamiliar street, talking to people in the shops who know that you are not local and wondering what brought you to their part of the world.

It was great to reconnect with our grandsons, daughter, and son in law, spending the time talking face to face instead of through a tablet or phone.

For this holiday, time moved quickly, which means that the break was thoroughly enjoyed, I didn’t feel the need to keep in contact with or think about work.

The annual leave break this time around meant a lot and I think I finally understand how one can be recharged mentally and physically.