Just a short break

A long weekend away restores me almost as much as a holiday.

I very rarely play hookie from work. In fact haven’t done so since I was a whipper snapper. But there’s always a first.

I read a thread about when people want to retire and one line struck me now I suffer repeated back pain. What’s the point in paying with your health for wealth and then using your wealth to pay for your health? In other words why put so much into your work that your health suffers so that later in life you need to spend all your savings on your health.

My back problems largely stem from work. Stress. Too much sitting. Not enough time to exercise.

And given my idea of a gorgeous life involves being healthy and travelling, I ran away recently.


Sorry, just had to shout that out.

Only two days missed from work mind you. And my back was so bad I wouldn’t have been able to work for one of those days anyway. I rarely have a day off work for sickness. In the last three years there’s been one day. Which makes me question why I am such a martyr.

The back pain was particularly bad. So I tried acupuncture and cupping. Don’t know why it worked, don’t know how, but the relief was immense.

So here I am. Watching the desert birds come in for an evening drink in a bird bath.

Watching the sunset over the West Macdonnell Ranges.


Going for a swim in a waterhole.



10 thoughts on “Just a short break

  1. OH this is a HEATED (current) debate with me and the BF. I get 18 sick days a year, and whilst growing up, I was not allowed a day off school unless half of it was spent in bed (and what kid has that sort of patience for a mild case of ‘Idunwannas’?). Now days, I take mental health or tiredness days a bit. I know that on my death bed, the company won’t care (that I’m dying), and nor will I. If a day off restores my enjoyment of work, and makes me more productive, then I let it be.

    The BF sees sick (and annual) leave as $$$. You don’t take annual leave, you get it paid out. Not so, sick leave, but why let the company down? Very good of him, but neither you nor me, nor him, work for a small business. IN those cases, yes, a sickie is a much harder problem. Or where you’re in charge of children (for example… so maybe you, but I’m thinking nanny – no back up). Anyhow. GOOD FOR YOU! Use the banked wealth of sick days to SERVE you!

    • I am conflicted about sick leave. Work is not welfare. Taking a sickie probably lets your colleagues down. And in teaching, definitely lets the students down. And as you age, you will need more days off sick. I probably tend towards your BF, in not taking sick days. My strong Protestant work ethic in play!

      I won’t be paid out for my untaken sick leave. And my health is negatively affected by my job (although it can be seen to be positively affected as I can afford a better lifestyle). As you say, on my death bed or sick bed my company, the government, won’t care two hoots about me, unless it costs them financially. So all that tends towards encouraging me to have the occasional “mental health” or recovery day. And not to soldier on when very poorly or unable to stand without being in immense pain.

      As I said, conflicted.

  2. Good for you! Everyone needs a little break now and then, without any guilt attached! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and are feeling a little better πŸ™‚

    I notice in months where we are given a day off (for a federal holiday like Veteran’s Day), I feel less stress – I only have to cook enough leftovers for 4 lunches instead of 5, I have an extra day to catch up on reading/laundry/cat snuggling, whatever. Just the gift of time relaxes me πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Amanda. I don’t know if I was more productive but it is a strange thing about work – it will expand to fit the time you give it. So I vow to try to give it less time to fill.

  3. My take on it is that when someone has an ongoing health problem, the “daily grind” contributes to it, and an occasional catch-up day is needed. I counsel my employees that if they are getting run down, it is better for everyone that they take a day off, rather than burn out and take a month of medical or stress leave that they otherwise wouldn’t need.

    I love the landscape at your destination!

    • The daily grind definitely has affected my health. So I am going to make a conscious attempt to give my health the attention it needs.

      And yes, the landscape is amazing. Truly amazing.

  4. Oh…it looks so beautiful. Those photos come up nicely on the iPad.

    I’m intrigued as to how you got there….that’s a long way from anywhere close.

    As for letting the kids down…I highly doubt that one day will matter in the scheme of things’. You’ll come back twice as effective. And just as importantly, the kids might have had a “mini break” in a couple of lessons, giving them some breathing space, too.


    • I flew Fiona. 3 hours. The waterhole was over an hour’s drive away from the town. Everywhere there is a long way from every other place, and they are all a long way from anywhere. I think that’s how the locals like it!

  5. Sorry to hear about your back but I wouldnt feel guilty about having a day off now and then to rest it. Everyone has a different take on illness. If I am not feeling well I am like my dad I like to go to bed snuggle down under the duvet and forget the world for a day then I am usually up and about again in no time. On the other hand I know people like my mum who would only go to bed to die! She likes to ‘work’ off any illness so you would find her shopping even if she felt wretched, however it does take her a long time to feel OK again. I would hate to have that just not quite right feeling go on for days. We have people who ‘struggle’ in at work with colds and flu and I feel like screaming …noooooo..go away I don’t want you to be a martyr and I certainly don’t want your germs!!!
    Take care x

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