We are within days of the end of the working year and this year it can't come soon enough. I will have two weeks at home with my family before we head off for a week's holiday in the sun. I can't wait.
For the first time my teenage sons do not have a Christmas wish list. There is absolutely nothing that they have been pining for this year. Maybe it's because they already have everything they want. That hasn't stopped them from providing me with a long list in previous years but for some reason the mood is a little different now. Perhaps they have developed gift fatigue.
This will be the first year that I haven't been fully prepared for Christmas by the beginning of December. I hate having to be organized for the big day ahead of time but I know that if I'm not I will run out of time. This year has been one of the busiest of my life and I'm not overly bothered that I may not be ready with gifts for everyone on the day.
I'm not sure if it's due to the hectic year I've had at work. Alongside my terrific teams I have launched a website, this one, and relaunched a very large website, Crikey. I've either launched or relaunched a website every year for the previous four. But never a launch and relaunch in the same year.
I can't say it was due to the demands of board commitments as I have been on the Netball Australia Board for five years. I committed to a couple of extra committees late in the year - but too late to impact my exhaustion.
My family are not to blame. My sons have certainly had a busy year with one at university and the other a fully engaged member of his school's many activities. But they are always busy. If anything, it has become a little less hectic now that my 19-year-old has his licence and a car.
The impact of my father-in-law's stroke and subsequent health issues has been shielded from me by my husband. He has embraced the weight of this responsibility so I can continue to focus on our sons when I am not working.
I can't put my finger on the one thing that has contributed to my desperate need for a proper break this year. I can only assume its the combination of my busy lifestyle with everything that has been news in recent times. But it's almost impossible to think of your own needs when surrounded by the news of human tragedy. I suspect it's why my sons are nonchalant about gifts this year.
We have abandoned our proposed office Kris Kringle in favour of purchasing a couple of goats for African poverty-stricken families via Oxfam. Instead of opening our gifts while enjoying wine, cheese and Christmas cake on Friday afternoon, we will instead devote our celebration to the task of naming the goats. It will serve to remind us that we are fortunate to have the holiday to look forward to at the end of an exhaustive year and the means to enjoy a Christmas Day celebration with our family and friends.
Are you looking forward to your Christmas break with the same amount of fervour? What do you with for?
Marina Go is GM of Hearst-Bauer, publisher of Harper's Bazaar, ELLE and Cosmopolitan. She is also chair of the Wests Tigers, a director of Odyssey House McGrath Foundation and a member of the advisory boards of the Walkley Foundation, The Remarkables Group and Women's Agenda. She has an MBA from The AGSM and is a member of the AICD. Her new book is Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders.
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