12.20 The Fundraiser Who Took a Holiday

Remember the film Death Takes a Holiday? The story line can be found in several sci-fi series or films like Meet Joe Black: Death works really hard at his job all the time, but then he decides to take a break and experience life on the other side.

Well that’s how I feel every year around this time. Funding movements (raising funds that is) is non-stop all the way up to about the 15th of December for me. It’s the one time of the year when I can stop being fundraiser/director/activist/trainer/consultant/writer or whatever title I’ve taken on. All the pressing stuff in my In Box goes into the “see you next year” box. Conference calls, webinars, and all the peer gatherings are done. Close the shop and turn off the lights!

As selfish as it sounds, the fight for social justice and equity for others become secondary to my personal quest to sit back, relax and reload. I know it’s selfish because, like death, injustice doesn’t stop just because it’s the holiday season. In fact, I think we can add social injustice to the list with death and taxes.

I blame my love for the year-end lock down on two entities. One, the school system, back in the day when two weeks off for Christmas break really was a break). The second would be the non-profit sector, which provides a break at the end of the year to help compensate for lower salaries and to honor the hard work and dedication of staff.

Of course, for the last fifteen years I’ve been the envy of family members and friends all because of my extended year-end break, but what they don’t know is that as easy as it may be to turn off the lights to the shop, it’s not that easy to turn off my thoughts about work. I may be on break but my mind is thinking about the work that didn’t get done and the work that needs to happen when I return. Generally I don’t stop thinking about work until maybe a day or so before it’s time to go back.

Now why is that? Why can’t I just shut my mind off and sit back and play Wii basketball all day with no regards to what’s going outside my front door?