This article originally appeared on Mia Freedman's Babble, a newsletter delivering content on pop culture, modern life and being a Gen Xer in a Gen Z world. Sign up here.
Oh, the pressure. At this time of year, I usually take time off making content of all kinds which is both a relief and uncomfortable. A relief because at every other time of year, I am a content-making machine and not doing that feels a wee bit like getting off a treadmill and resting my brain.
The discomfort comes from the fact that I feel most myself, most happy, most in flow in the two following situations:
Hanging with my family when everyone is in good form
By content, I mostly mean writing or podcasting. Social feels like a bit more of a burden. Like feeding a ravenous beast that will never be satisfied. How much engagement is enough. How many followers are enough. How much business growth is enough.
It would be easy to say that all that pressure is external but for me, it's an internal voice that drives me far more than any external measure. And it's exhausting inside my head. The voice never shuts up. Except? For a few weeks at this time of year.
When you run a business, holidays hit different. You can put your out-of-office on and check your phone less and even delete Slack. But you can't ever check out completely. Also, you don't accrue annual leave days when you're the boss. The good part about that is that you don't have to get anyone to approve your leave and in theory, you can take as many holidays as you want. The bad part is that you don't because you can't. Not if you want your business to survive, let alone thrive.