Reader: we’re doing it. Yes, I read all your very empathetic and sensible advice and squirmed a bit and agonised - and suddenly it was booked. P doesn’t prevaricate (that particular responsibility was shared out to me) and I’d said I was going to leave the break to him when he first mooted it, back when I thought it would be a long weekend in, maybe, Dorset.
So my first drop and flop holiday looms menacingly on the horizon.
Except it doesn’t really. There’s too much work between now and then for that horizon to even feature. I would stress however (entirely subconscious choice of words) that it’s volume of work rather than other unpleasantness. Having put up with a toxic work environment for years in my last job, I’ll happily take volume over sniping, back-biting and a blame culture. Yes, it’s likely to get tense and possibly ill-tempered at times, but it is nothing like what I had to endure there. I know I’m valued and I know I’ll do a good job – and I know I’ll come out the other side. If slightly frazzled.
Of course, work stress – especially when experienced en masse – does tend to lead to bad eating. The treats go up in quantity but not quality and the propensity to just grab some, mindlessly, increases exponentially. I need to dig deep and find some willpower. It’s not like crazy amounts of sugar actually help with stress after all.
In fact, with a sun, sand, sea and stress holiday coming hot on the heels of the work intensity, succumbing will actually lead to more stress. Maybe that is the factor that will deliver that much needed willpower.
I didn’t ever talk to P – despite your good advice – not only because he’d pretty much done the deed by the time I’d posted, but also because I don’t want him to ever have to suffer because of my hang-ups. He loves a bit of sun and never really gets it – our holidays tend to be yomping round historical sites and/or hiking and whilst he likes that too, he misses out on sunshine (actually we did get some in Syria in 2010 but only whilst marching round sites – now sadly mostly gone of course). I have asked him if he’s intending to swim in CV and he said probably not – this somehow lessens the feeling that I’m missing out on that and the pressure. Then again, we’re doing a day’s trip which encompasses good beaches so..... I shall take a cozzie..... probably. I doubt it will emerge from my suitcase but I’ll probably take one. I’ll take an existing one – I’m certainly not getting into that hideous cycle of trying to find, with increasing anxiety, frustration and mounting self-loathing, something which looks half decent. Hell, I’d settle for fractionally decent. But I think I’ll have to go with ‘covers me decently’.
Appropriately, today is my first starve day in, oooh, 3 weeks? Four? I stopped when I got ill before Christmas and last week it seemed too brutal a transition. It’s uncomfortable and unpleasant but I’m hoping I will be rewarded on SoD tomorrow and see a decent lump off. Next starve day is set for Wednesday so I get a ‘normal’ dieting day before knuckling down again. Perhaps I need to put a pic of a beach or swimming pool on my desk to remind me of why I must stick grimly and religiously to this, despite stomach rumblings.