Regardless of our beliefs or love, or lack thereof, for everything Christmas, there is no escaping it's omnipotent presence bombarding you with messages about how you're not doing enough to enjoy this annual festival.
Buy more stuff, give more time to more people, make more people happier than you usually do, eat lots of food, attend three functions a day, be as happy as you can possibly be and, do all of this whilst you're still as busy as you've ever been because business stops for no one, not even Santa.
Then, just relax man. You're on holidays. WTF?
I can't be alone in my negative feelings towards all of this bullshit and surely, I'm not the only one who finds it incredibly hard to switch from spinning 50 plates on fragile sticks to doing nothing for 10 days whilst the business world closes down.
Usually it takes about 3-5 days for me to forget my work rhythm and get into the groove of holidays, which is usually just in time for me to return and, as the owner of the business, I doubt if I ever really shut down.
But the reality is, that I don't want to. I don't want to stop working or close the office for two weeks. I don't want my phone to be silent and I don't want to sit around for hours doing nothing. I've pondered this before. Why can't I just shut it all off and relax?
Because I fucking love my job, that's why. I love what I do and it's my chocolate. And whilst I am the co-owner of this business, I'm not the boss, and I fucking love that too.
My 'Boss' is my business partner, my team, my clients, my candidates and my family. They're who I have to do great work for. They hold me accountable and it's those people I want to achieve things for.
So what am I saying here? I'm saying that I'm exceptionally fortunate and grateful to have found my chocolate. And my chocolate is a job that truly utilises my skills and experience and provides me with an outlet for my expression and my passion for control, winning, doing great work and learning the stories of the amazing people I come into contact with every day.
"Never leave the quality of your life in the hands of a commercial enterprise, they're designed to extract time from humans for financial gain, invariably not yours."
To work one gives up their most precious commodity: Time. Time away from your loved ones, time away from what you love doing, time away from your friends etc.
Make work your chocolate. Find a role and an employer and a team that isn't stealing your time away, but one that you're happy to give it to. Work with people you respect and like and admire. Dedicate yourself to improving the place and it will improve you.
I know not everyone can have what I just described but there is no reason that a plan can't be set in motion to achieve it. It starts by knowing what you truly want and then either creating that reality with your current employer through your own contribution or, leaning into the wind and finding the place of employment that truly fits your needs.
Work is never work if you love what you do and just like in all relationships, you might have moments where you question if work loves you back, but at the end of the day, you'll know if you're meant to be together.