WHEN LIFE TELLS YOU IT'S TIME TO TAKE LONG SERVICE LEAVE

Maybe this pandemic is Life giving us the opportunity to slow down and take some Long Service Leave. To relax and to recuperate.

A LIFE OF BEING PRODUCTIVE

I don't know about you, but I've spent 50+ years leading a productive life. It may not be an earth shaking, world changing, productive life, but it's been a full and engaging one for me. I've progressed steadily through all the age appropriate levels and now I feel like life is saying - "take a breath, sit back, rest, and recuperate". Life will go on again, we'll all be rushing around before we know it, but for now it's time to take some Long Service Leave.

WHY DO WE NEED A BREAK?

I'm sure we all would have gone right on living our lives on full speed ahead mode, we accept that as normal and couldn't imagine life being any different. "Things to do! Things to do!" is the battle cry for most of us and we leap out of bed every morning with a calendar stuffed full of work or leisure activities to fill our days. Weekends come and we spend them catching up on what we didn't get around to during the week. That was normal life until the world was stopped dead in its tracks by a little deadly virus.

We were all sent home and told to stay there. Some accepted it graciously, others fought tooth and nail to hold onto their very important lives. Who wants to sit at home? Who wants to give up their active social life? Who wants to miss out on being front and centre for all the work updates, drama, gossip, meetings, and more? Who wants to feel like they're treading water and life is passing them by? A lot of people resented being told to isolate themselves - but you know what? As time goes on we're all finding this new normal isn't so bad, we're adjusting to being on Leave from life, and slowing down a little.

The best feeling in the world is when you wake up one day...Sylvester McNutt III #lifequotes

TAKING LONG SERVICE LEAVE FROM LIFE

When you step back from all the scheduled activities of life you find a new sense of calm. I noticed it creeping in last year when I left my job and settled into early retirement, and it's even more pronounced now that the rest of the world is slowing down too. People seem more relaxed, they are friendlier - they wave and smile when they're walking around the neighbourhood, they are kinder and more generous, they do nice little things for each other, they have more time now they're not rushing off to work or school.

Perhaps we all needed to take some Long Service Leave - I never had the opportunity to take months of leave when I was working - I seemed to change jobs regularly enough that it was paid out when I left, but never taken as a prolonged break. Other than stopping to have my children, I've worked non-stop for 40 years and I know a lot of others who can say the same. We were all due for a break, we were all living on the border of mental exhaustion, we were all forging full steam ahead and forgetting what it's like to chill out and slow down. It's like Life has said "Enough!" give yourselves a break and give the natural world a break - Stop! Stay home! Chill out! 

ARE YOU LISTENING?

I think we all know that this time at home won't last forever. Rather than seeing it as an imposition, or resenting it, maybe we need to change our mindset and enjoy it. It's time for ourselves, time to catch our breath, time to enjoy the little things that we put off because we were too busy, time to talk to each other, to smile, to learn new things, to step back and to just "be".

I'm not sure what our world will look like when we go back to "normal". Will more of us retire rather than fight for a new job in a post COVID-19 world? Will more people continue to work from home, will some choose to continue home-schooling? Will we appreciate things more? Will we be more intentional with how we spend our time? There's a lot of unknowns to face in the months ahead, but we know that eventually Life will say that our Long Service Leave is over and it's time to jump back on the bandwagon - wouldn't it be a shame if you looked back and realized you hadn't made the most of this lovely down time?

When this is over may we never again take for granted;  A handshake with a stranger, Full shelves at the store,  Conversations with neighbors.... Laura Kelly Fanucci #lifequotes

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you enjoying your time off the treadmill of life? Are you making the most of this time you have to "be" rather than "do"? Do you resent having to step back and stay home, or do you see it as a moment in time that can be embraced and used wisely? To be honest, I'm enjoying the peace, serenity and calm - I hope you are too.


RELATED POSTS


Maybe this pandemic is Life giving us the opportunity to slow down and take some Long Service Leave. To relax and to recuperate.
Maybe this pandemic is Life giving us the opportunity to slow down and take some Long Service Leave. To relax and to recuperate.

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31 comments

  1. Hi Leanne, I, too, have to watch it on the concept of being too productive in my old life. I also feel the world came to a abrupt halt. You and I have both discussed how we miss our families and especially the children. Yet, this new temporary ( temporary - the operative word) normal has also caused me to pause in my life. I find I take many moments throughout the day (and night) to just take deep breaths. Your quotes are wonderful, appropriate and poignant. I am with you on “enjoying the peace, serenity and calm.” Great post, Leanne! Take care.

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    1. Hi Erica - I'm grateful that retirement last year helped me ease back a bit and that's made this sudden halt easier to handle. And yes, missing my family is the one big hurdle for me - other than that, I'm doing my utmost to look at the positives and not allow the confinement to get to me (or affect my marriage etc).
      Life hands us different challenges - this one is pretty gentle compared to some I've been through, so I'm trying to remember to enjoy this "time-out" while we have it and before we're rushing around again.

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  2. This is little deal has made think some things in a different light. For me I kind of need the structure and routine of work to keep my ADD at bay.

    Thanks for sharing this thought provoking post. Very nice. I don't normally do this but I think you my like my latest post and I am sharing it with you: https://csuhpat1.blogspot.com/2020/04/am-i-secret-aussie.html

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    1. Hi Patrick - I just popped over and read your post - and yes, I think there might be a little bit of Aussie in your heart! Try to enjoy the downtime that COVID-19 is providing and I hope it's not disrupting your life too much.

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  3. Hi, Leanne - I still have the inner urge to be 'productive'. Now that I have a blank calendar, I don't get half the things done that I had planned to do! :D
    I like the Laura Kelly Fanucci quote that you included. I miss many of the things on her list -- and promise never to take them for granted again!

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    1. Hi Donna - I think it feels strange when life chooses to take some of our control away and we're left at a bit of a loose end. I miss a lot of things in that final quote too - especially the human contact - and will be oozing gratitude when we're back to "normal".

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  4. thank you for this thoughtful post. This really is long service leave from life and we must take advantage of it. As Laura Kelly says, what a shame if we got to the end and realised we hadn't made the most of this time. At the moment I am a bit tied because I had an ankle op 3 weeks ago and still have another 3 weeks in a moon boot, but I have still been trying to catch up on little "projects" and know there are lots of things I am looking forward to doing when I can get around better. Thanks for the post. I am linking up to you today through the Lovin Life Linky.

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    1. sorry your quote....though I did like Laura Kelly's too! :)

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    2. Hi Jill - sorry to hear about the moon boot - but I guess being stuck at home means you have time to heal without dragging it around the shops or whatever other commitments you might normally have. My mum had just had her knee replaced before all this happened and was busy trying to stock up and bunker down while she hobbled around on crutches!

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  5. I'm so ready for long service leave. I've dropped a lot of balls of late and I really don't care. I do think there is a lot to be gained and learned from the world coming to a halt as it has and that is not at all to diminish the devastation the virus has caused and is still causing. I love the quote and agree wholeheartedly! xo

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    1. Hi Min - the stress of all of this seems to affect us all differently. I think if it has a big impact (as it's had with you) then it's time to step back and be kinder to yourself and put a few balls down (you didn't drop them - you released them!) We can pick it all up when the world tells us it's time for our Leave to be over and to get back on the daily treadmill.

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  6. Hi Leanne enjoyed your post. Agree this forced "slowing down" can be seen as a gift, not withstanding the seriousness of this virus and it's financial implications on many. I too have worked for 40 yrs only stopping to have children. I still work 2-3 days per week and am finding the days off very strange indeed. Sometimes I feel I'm wasting my time but have to remind myself it's ok to not be busy.

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    1. Hi Marie - stopping work last year was like a prep course for all this lockdown and self-isolation. It gave me time to adjust to being home more, so it's only the social side of things that I've given up each week. The slowing down has been quite pleasant - but I'll be happy when it eases up a bit and we can see our kids and grandkids again.

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  7. Hi Leanne, the idea of taking Long Service Leave from life is spot on. Even in retirement we can become so caught up in life that we don't actually enjoy how we are spending our time. Now I isolation is the perfect time to be reflecting on what changes we would like to make in our life and moving forward from there. Take care and have a lovely weekend. xx #BloggersPitStop

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    1. Hi Sue - I think you're right about using this time to seriously think about what's important and how we want to spend our time going into the future. There's very little that I've given up that I've missed so far and that makes me wonder if I need to be looking into other areas to engage my heart and mind more when this is over.

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  8. I retired 5 years ago so I was already isolating myself at home for a good part of many days. This isn't so different other than trying to do 2 weeks of grocery shopping at once, which pretty much sucks. And not being able to go to my favorite park, or drive around with my camera. I miss those things. But I'm hopeful I'll still be able to camp this summer, and if I can't go to a park maybe I'll just camp in my own back yard. The best part of being retired is that I can be flexible.

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    1. Retirement definitely gave me a headstart with lockdown too Dawn - I'd already settled into a more flexible lifestyle and I enjoy the time I spend at home. I think the biggest take away for me is that this is a time to rest and consider how I want to proceed when we're allowed to resume all our activities. Maybe some will be left in the dust and others will become more important?

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  9. Hi again Leanne, just realised we live in the same town!

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    1. Yes I realized that too when I went to your blog Jill - we'll have to do a coffee and catch up sometime (with Jo Castro included!) x

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  10. I think it's a great way of looking at it Leanne, taking a little break and giving ourselves some time to recover. I agree people seem to be making more of an effort now that we've all been isolated, we're staying in touch, checkin in on family and friends more and communicating in different ways. Some days I feel like nothing has changed and then others I feel it deeply but I'm making the most of this time at home. A lovely post Leanne, that sums it all up nicely. i do feel for many who aren't feeling the calm though and worry about mental health issues that may impact on some later down the track. Take care xx

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    1. I've definitely noticed how differently we're all coping with this Deb. Many are like you and me - calm and fairly undisturbed by it all, others are constantly online checking updates, others are worried about their health and are extremely anxious. I feel so grateful that it's had so little impact on my world - but I'm also aware that choosing my response makes a big difference to how each day plays out.

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  11. Leanne
    I really needed to read and reflect on your post today. I'm slowly learning to love the lifestyle that's been imposed on us all. I've also found myself more appreciative of the simple things that make up seemingly ordinary days.

    SSG xxx

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    1. I'm the same SSG - when your world gets smaller, the little things seem to get bigger and more important - it can work both ways (little niggles seem more annoying) but I find that the small joys in life are deeper and richer atm.

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  12. I love the idea of looking at it as long service leave. To be honest, day to day life hasn't changed that much for me although hubby is now working from home which is a bonus! And thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I'm able to keep in touch with my friends more than ever. I love Laura's words and really hopes she is right.

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    1. My life is pretty unchanged too Sam but I do miss the opportunity to see our kids - and Easter was a bit of a non-event. Despite that, stepping away from all the distractions and being in my own headspace these last few weeks has been a lot more enjoyable than I would have expected!

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  13. Wonderful post, Leanne! Why do we feel the need to be productive all the time? I feel guilty sometimes just to stop and work the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. I love the "When This Is Over" graphic. I hope I never take simple pleasures for granted again!

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    1. I've been the same Laurie - wondering why I'm not doing more with my time, but then I realized that it's different for all of us - some need to fill every moment, and others (like me) are happy for the day to unfold slowly and to have been pleasantly occupied - but not necessarily "productive" and I refuse to beat myself up over it! :)

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  14. I was just learning to relax into life, post work, post grandchild care, post cancer treatments...and then BAM! No, I cannot go and do what I want and I miss it greatly. However, as a 'good girl' I am obeying the rules but I will look forward to greater freedom to sit at a cafe with my coffee and draw in my book. Missing that in my day big time. Thanks for linking up for Life This Week. Next week, the optional prompt is Life Stories 1. Hope to see you there. Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - I feel exactly the same way - just getting the hang of retirement, just getting into the freedom of having very few fixed commitments and obligations, lots of time for family and friends - and BAM! it all went down the gurgler - I'm being good too, but it will also be lovely when it's all a distant memory.

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  15. I'm still on the treadmill, just in a different format. Working from home is great, but it is also busier somehow. Home schooling starts next week too. Hells bells.

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    1. You're definitely in a different stage of life to me Leanne - no schooling here for a decade or more (thank goodness) and I definitely don't envy those who are juggling all the balls of work, homeschooling, entertaining without distractions etc

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