There’s something about holidays, I find, that puts me in a very different frame of mind. A more relaxed frame of mind It’s not just the change of scenery, although the warmth and beauty of the Sunshine Coast was particularly welcome after a particularly cold Melbourne winter. It was more than that – and it was great.
And now we’re back home.
As much as I’d love to, I can’t package up the weather and the beach and lay it out at home. But there are some key aspects I’m aiming to incorporate more into my everyday life. They are manageable – with a little forethought, perhaps.
I wonder if you agree, or if you have other suggestions?
More opportunities to wander
Our holiday gave us time and space to discover, to see more, to take in and think.
We wandered through national parks, climbed steep hills, paddled along rivers and canals, and took ferry rides. We explored new shops, cafes, parks and towns.
We had time for building sand castles, digging holes, and exploring without being overseen by parents (or, for me, within shops without being tugged away by kids, or for Al, to watch a lot more sport than normal).
We had time to create – drawing, inventing new games, exploring ideas and possibilities for the future.
We could do this without thinking ‘Nah, it won’t work – I’m wasting my time’, or ‘I’d be better spending my time doing something else’.
Our wanderings didn’t necessarily have to lead anywhere, or meet a defined measure of ‘success’. We could just wander. How freeing.
It’s not something I spend much time on – I tend to admire others creativity. So I’m looking to learn a bit more. As well as a couple of fiction books, I took away this book on doodling (yes, the title caused great hilarity). I’m looking to free up a bit of my thinking and ways of capturing thoughts, and it gave me some great ideas.
Opening my eyes to wonder
One of the things I started on the holiday was an online mindfulness course (yes, maybe not well timed, but organised some months ago). I know mindfulness is a bit of a buzz term, but this course, run through Monash University, seems to be well pitched and ‘fits’ my way of thinking.
One of the key aspects of mindfulness is developing a curiosity about what is going on around you, as well as within. Being present, in other words. Developing a sense of wonder. And one of the best ways to develop that is with kids, I find.
While we were away, we saw amazing sand sculptures, we were able to play with my uncle’s intricate train set (relieving part of his childhood), and watched a group of early twenty year olds coasting in on deck chairs balancing on paddle boards (just because it was fun to try). We saw some beautiful wildlife (which we failed to photograph – oh well), saw a couple of amazing sunsets which were only trumped by a full-on sheet lightening storm and pelting rain, viewed in comfort at the top of a mountain.
The world is an amazing place.
Taking a break and just appreciating and enjoying
Yes, this stunning setting is from my cousin’s home. It lures you just to sit back and have a cuppa, doesn’t it? And yes, we had the time to do it (wouldn’t it be a shame if life was too rushed to enjoy a scene like this?). Similarly, the kids have never found a pool they don’t want to swim in, or, in the case of Phoebe, a swing they don’t want to try. Life is there to be enjoyed – right?
Making time for those who are important
This is probably self explanatory, but I so often forget it.
Fortunately, we had so many family members with us, and this was real highlight for us. As was having time just the four of us, and, occasionally, just the two of us (although Al tended to be the one with the camera, so no photos of him. Must rectify this in the future!). We also had a few close friends who were staying in Noosa or surrounds while we were, and it was so good to to spend time with them. Really, really important.
At the same time, building friendships is good too. I’d organised to catch up with Tonia from Tonia with an Eye, who I’d met once before at the Kidspot Blogging Masterclass in June. That was out of character – but so worth while (it was lovely to see her again – I recommend you have a look at her blog too). And she made me promise to let her know how I went at one of her recommended op-shops (she is a bit of an expert)- so here is my evidence (no, not really a selfie taker, but given no one else wanted to take the photo, well …) Happy with the purchase (Tonia strikes again!)
My revelation – We can do these things everyday. We don’t need to be on holiday to live a more ‘present’ life.
They do, however, require some conscious effort to ensure life is not swamped by work and school, extra activities, and things we feel ‘obliged’ to do, or do just because everyone else is. They require us not to just jump back on the treadmill of life – but to be more deliberate about where we place our energy and our focus.
We can’t live a full holiday life everyday – but we can factor in more than we do.
For other tips, have a read of this article