So my husband took me on a ‘surprise’ trip to Barcelona recently. I say ‘surprise’ in inverted commas because he obviously had to tell (ask) me about it before he booked the flights 2 months earlier, to make sure I was ok with the idea of leaving our kids with my parents for 3 nights. I wasn’t totally ok with it, but assumed we’d be driving to Cornwall or something and could easily get home if my 2 year old desperately needed me in the middle of the night. She didn’t. Which was good because, as I said, he took me to Barcelona.
As the time got closer I got more and more anxious about leaving my daughter. My worry must have shown as several friends reminded me to just ‘enjoy it’ and one even felt the need to tell me to 'lavish my husband with love'. Although it sounded like something from a 1950's Housewife Manual, it was actually a really good piece of advice as I tend to be a grumpy stress head at times and I really didn’t want to ‘ruin’ this short holiday – our first together since our ‘babymoon’ (which hardly counts as I was 8 months pregnant).
Anyway. What I’m getting at is that in order to truly make the most of the trip I just had to let go of my fear and anxiety. Let go of my expectations of how wonderful this trip might be, and even how strange it might be to spend 4 whole days alone with my husband – talking, drinking, eating, walking, sightseeing and perhaps even getting in a little 'Business Time' . It had been so long since we were able to do those things together. properly. Would we still like (or love) each other? Would we have anything to talk about? Would we enjoy the same things and want to go to the same places or would we just bicker and compete to get our needs met like we soooo often do at home?
Well guess what? We had a GREAT time. Almost from the minute I jumped on the back of the motorbike to head to the airport, I felt ‘free’ again and my agitation, my reserve, my fears flew away into the slip stream. I was able to look at all the families on the flight with no ill-feeling towards them, neither in the direction of, ‘Oh, our kids should be here, they’d love seeing the aeroplanes’. Nor in the way of, ‘Oh bugger off all you screaming children and let me enjoy my holiday in peace’. I just – enjoyed – the - moment. Every single darned moment (well almost. Hiking through a busy city carrying a heavy backpack in 30 degree heat with a slight hangover on the way to catch the airport bus, wasn’t one of my best moments but still).
Now, why am I writing this? Because I was determined (and still am) to bring a little bit of that holiday feeling back into my household and I want you to consider it too. I don’t know how long it’ll last but I’ll give it a good go.
I love this Seth Godin quote and I’ve always prided myself on trying to do just that. I chose to be a stay at home mum so I could spend more time with my kids. I then chose to start my own business because being a stay at home mum full time was challenging in ways that I'd never expected, and at times I felt lost and lonely. So now I’m a work-at-home-mum and get the best, and the worst, of both worlds but hey, it was a very conscious choice and I’m loving it.
Of course you don't have to do something drastic like buy a surf school and create your dream-lifestyle business (or is that just my dream?). There are loads of little ways you can choose, every single darned day, to live your holiday life. From saying ‘yes’ to that invite to go climbing with a girlfriend, to saying ‘yes’ to getting a baby sitter and going for a regular date night. Or saying yes to an ice cream in the park (if you’re like me and tend to say no more often than not). ‘Yes’ to getting on a train and going somewhere you’ve never been before. ‘Yes’ to trying a new takeaway on a Friday night, or even just a new dish from your favourite restaurant. Saying ‘yes’ to trying some meditation, or a massage or heck a new fitness class! And just like when you’re on holiday and don’t care about the clothes strewn all over the hotel room, say ‘yes’ to an early night – or a late one – and forget about the housework.