I’m taking this holiday season off work. Normally, I wouldn’t have any issues with working through the Christmas and New Year periods. They’re my favourite time of the year for working, mostly because everything is super chill, and because there are a lot of other people who are also taking the time off work, you can usually get some personal projects completed that you wouldn’t otherwise fit into your regular day, or put a little extra care into getting something done right.

Work is interesting like that. Even though I have far too much annual leave banked up and zero other commitments, there’s a small part of me that would still like to be working over the break. I know a few other people that use the holiday period to zero their outstanding annual leave balance for the year, taking whatever leave they have remaining after the year is done and dusted to rest, relax and recharge, allowing them to come back and start the new year with a renewed vigour and zeal for whatever lies ahead.

It’s not that I’m a work-a-holic or anything, either. I feel like have an excellent work-life balance otherwise. I rarely stay past the prescribed hour, and use my full lunch breaks as a way to get away from work for a bit. My only flaw is that I perhaps check work email a couple more times than strictly necessary over the weekend, but even that only adds up to a minute or two of distraction over the course of a normal weekend.

No, I want to work during the holiday season because it’s the coolest period of the year (attitude-wise, not temperature). Sure, you might be stuck in the office with the rest of the poor folks who drew the short straw. Or perhaps they, like yourself, volunteered to keep the lights on, and have now been charged with making sure that nothing breaks too badly while everyone else is drinking their eggnog, watching the cricket, or spending some quality time with their friends and family.

But because there are a lot of other people away from work, the usual pressures from the business dissipate, and all you’re left with is whatever your manager has decided they want you to work on over the break. If you get that done to their satisfaction, then the rest of your time at work is yours, free for you to finally work out how that esoteric system works, improve that thing that you’ve wanted to touch all year, fix that problem that needed more investigative time than your usual day would allow, or automate some process that probably should have been automated years ago.

I mean, what else am I going to do with my time off? There are only so many games of Frostivus you can play before you realise that maybe you’re the reason why your team can’t get past wave 12 of Tinys, and that perhaps Luna isn’t the ideal hero despite having built-in wave-clear, an aura that buffs your teammates, and scales well enough into late game to be truly formidable. Even though I can string creeps along and kite them all around the map, it’s my fault that my teammates decided to hide in base and get overrun.

So yes, a small part of me wants to be working over the break. Even if a not-insignificant portion of that is because I have basically nothing better to do.

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