I am crap at holidays. I look forward to them through the nights of working late and the mornings of waking early, typing away at my keyboard and arguing away in court until I want to drop like a bluebottle at the end of summer. I long for the time to do all the creative things I dream up when I have no time for them. The dress I am going to make, the book I am going to write, the technically difficult and beautiful piece I am going to learn on my guitar.
Then the holidays arrive and I sink into a few days of sleeping for England. Constant work leaves me with desire only to stay under the quilt for as long as possible. If I do venture out of the bedroom, watching iPlayer is about as close as I get to doing anything useful. That and making endless pots of tea.
Then, when the exhaustion has worn off or at least been kepy at bay, I should get a surge of energy to do everything I was waiting to have the time to do. But instead I vegetate. I can't be bothered to go for a run or make a quiche. I sink into a slightly miserable static state. It seems I need work to make me value time off. God help me if I ever retire.
I think there's a lesson here. Human existence is relative. We feel hot when we enter a warm room after being out in the cold. We thoroughly enjoy the plainest sandwich after ten hours of hiking without a break. We don't mind being in the back of a beaten up old car which smells of wet dog when it is transporting us away from a hungry grizzly bear.
We need points of reference to make us appreciate what we have. If we are ever going to write a great novel or run a marathon, we need to conisder (and if possible experience) something far away from the feeling of satisfaction achieveing these aims will give us. When we swim in a sea of sameness, we become desensitised to the water around us.
We fail to appreciate what we have.