I am back in the UK. Last week I was back at work. And last week we travelled back from the US to the UK. Our travel was smooth and on time. The UK was cooler and less humid. Returning to work was as difficult and challenging, enjoyable and inspiring as ever. Our time away was amazing.
Our trans-Atlantic travel was trouble free – something that I never take for granted. And our transfers at both ends were traffic free. We have all suffered with jet-lag mind you. We completely switched over to US time and we now find ourselves falling asleep at all times of day, just not any time at night!
Five hours’ time zone difference takes five days to overcome – that’s the rule of thumb that seems to work pretty well (up around seven hours difference…when all bets are off).
The weather change has been dramatic. The temperatures are not that different – it’s just the relative lack of humidity that is making everywhere feel so cold. In theory less humidity should allow for better sleep…although – as above – it doesn’t help the time of day we find ourselves falling sleeping.
I was back at work last week – although because of our travel I was working off site. Returning to work after being on vacation is always tough. Irrespective of whether you do no work, or some work, whilst away, I always feel bombarded when I first get back. It seems like there is so much more to do…and everything takes so much longer than it did before I left. I am sure this is not true, but that’s certainly how it feels.
I reassure myself that all of these feelings are just synonymous with great time off work. If I never had any time off work then I would never experience that first day back at work. A true statement but an irrelevant one. If I didn’t have an amazing time whilst off work then my first day back would presumably be much easier – again probably correct but definitely not relevant.
So yes indeed, my first few days back at work were difficult and challenging. Partly the work I had to do…and partly having to do work at all! And the good news is that the world moved on whilst I have been on holiday – no matter what anyone of us may think, none of us are indispensable. We all have superb colleagues and friends who readily cope (and enjoy coping) when we are away.
No…‘difficult and challenging’ is much more about me than it is about what I have to do. Readjusting to an early start to the day, to a full day, to being inside all day, to thinking about such different things, to talking about such different things, to spending time with different people.
But that adjustment also starts to indicate why I find my return both enjoyable and inspiring. Most of what I hear and read turns out to be as exciting as it is impressive. Great examples of great people solving big problems and seizing even bigger opportunities. Yes things always happen, but things always get sorted and improved.
And of course the most common question I get asked is how was my time away? What was it like?
And the answer? It was wonderful. Moving and memorable. Frenetic and fun. Just what we wanted and just what we needed. We did lots of things and no things. We sat on beaches, in cafes, on bikes and in bars. We sat together and we sat with friends.
We laughed. We relaxed. We talked. We loved.