I must have been born feeling guilty.
It’s a strange thing. As a librarian (80% of my time), when I take holiday, I take holiday. I’m not expected to go on producing work from home. As a researcher (20% of my time), the natural assumption would be exactly the same: holiday is holiday. No-one has asked me to do otherwise.
But whereas I wouldn’t think of writing a report about some aspect of my library work, I regularly write about my research subject in my evenings at home. (That goes back to my part-time PhD, when the only time I had for research was my own time.)
This week, I’ve been on holiday. I’ve written a conference paper, and Storifyed someone else’s tweets about student induction procedures, so that I can retrieve them easily when I need them for my PGCert project. I thought that the conference paper would assuage the guilt that “I should be doing something.” Well, it did – briefly. Then I thought I’d read a book that I’d ordered in connection with my research. In actual fact, it turned out to have little direct connection after all, but it was fascinating, a great read, so I’ve absolutely no regrets there. I spent a bit of time transcribing someone’s early 19th century borrowing record. And filed a few research notes.
Still the niggling little voice nagged on. “You’ve got a grant to write. You need to write it. Saying you’re on holiday is a stupid excuse – it just puts off writing it when you’ve actually got the time to get on with it.” Stop it, conscience. I’m on holiday.
Eventually, I sat down and spent a couple of hours on it. Just collating figures, but it will silence my guilty conscience until tomorrow!
Quick, get the sewing-machine plugged in. It’s the only activity that will truly distract me!