I was going to call this Six Things I learnt on Holiday, but there seems to be a bit of a “list” thing going on (30 Things you REALLY need to do in 2014 etc), and really these are just my musings while I have had a few moments to sit back and think about life in general. I think that all the NY resolutions often just come from the fact that we have 5 minutes peace and it gives us time to reflect on the state of our lives. And for me, everything grinds to a halt and life seems to move in slow motion instead of the 150 miles an hour that it generally seems to run at.
Silence is golden
We were lucky enough to spend 10 days in a friends beautiful bach up at sleepy Pt Wells just past Omaha Beach (seems to be called Omax these day). It is a tidal inlet with a river, not a beach, but with a wonderful feeling of being slightly forgotten. It is a very sleepy place, and there was also no TV and it was so completely still at night all we could hear was the occasional farm animal in nearby paddocks. Nice. So we called time on all music, that constant hubbub in the background. With teenagers, there always seems to be something playing in the background in our home. We found we enjoyed the quiet so much, that we have tried to keep it up at home. No noise just for the sake of it. No having the radio on permanently in the car. No rdio or iheart radio constantly running on my computer. A little more time for reading and just contemplating the world in general.
Turn it Off
The place we stayed didn’t have a TV. And funnily enough we didn’t miss it. I am the TV junkie in our house (I will watch paint dry as long as it is televised) – I am trying to kick the habit. The kids just spent alot of time reading, or listening to me read out loud. It is a holiday thing that we have always done, choosing a book to be read to the kids every night til we finish it. I am fascinated that even tho they are 16, 14 and 11 that they still like crowding together on the couch and listening to me read. And then there is generally a lively debate about the characters or plot of something… The Hobbit, or anything by Rick Riordan, Harry Potter, etc etc. Am just reading the Divergent series with them at the moment (with a bit of editing for the 11-year-old). I am mindful that every book could be the last, so I read whenever they ask…
This turning off of electronic devices extended to our phones as well. On the first day visiting my parents for Xmas I found all four of us (with electronic devices) sitting in my Mother’s lounge starting at our phones. So we called time on them. Everyone was limited to half an hour to reply to emails, Instagram, txts, snap chats (I have teenagers) and no-one died. No friendships were ruined, and work didn’t dry up. I realized my own addiction to the phone and all its gadgetry was completely out of hand. So I stopped. And I intend to keep it up. I got a new phone just before we went away, and my mail application was never installed. I am going to try to keep it that way for the time being. Ask me again in a couple of weeks…
Close the wallet
I love beautiful things. I really do. And I love to OWN beautiful things too. I hadn’t realised how much until I spent 10 days without shopping anywhere (other than food). I realised that it often isn’t enough for me to just see something gorgeous, because I REALLY love owning it more. I have a home full of beautiful things and I don’t need anything else. I realised this while living in a small two bedroomed bach with a small kitchen with one small basket of cooking things – I survived just fine. And I didn’t miss anything from home much. So I have decided for the next three months I am only allowed to buy something if something is lost, broken or grown out of (the children I am talking about here). My own clothing is exempt – I havent completely taken leave of my senses!
Just stop. It isn’t until you slow down that you realise the breakneck speed you have been going at. I hadn’t realised quite how busy my life was getting, and ultimately I am a Wife, Mother and Friend before I am a Stylist, Designer, Writer and Blogger. Or at the very least I should be. So I will work on finding ways to be more time efficient, and finding ways to not let work leak into every aspect of my life. It is hard when you are a visual person, and pretty much everything I see translates into my working creative life… ah the joys of finding balance in life.
A little bit every day
OK so I am not the most organised person in the world, and the pace while on holiday is ridiculously slow, but I love that we always seem to fall into an easy rhythm with breakfast (dishes), reading, (load of washing) swimming, lunches (dishes), reading (washing in) dinner, (More dishes) and then whatever happens. The rhythm means everything is pretty tidy most of the time and I don’t end up trying to deal with 12 loads of washing at the end of the week. A little bit every day. And then it doesn’t feel so damned overwhelming.
Read, read and read
I forget how much I love to read. It feels like reading, and the time it takes to absorb a good book is slowly becoming a rare commodity as we get everything in bite sized pieces these days. A book is worth the effort, and I had pretty much forgotten that fact. I managed to read 8 books while I was away. I might just do a post on them in the coming weeks.
It is easy to pontificate when life is so uncomplicated and slow. Ask me again when we are fully back into the swing of things but hopefully things with be quieter, I will read more and watch less TV, I will be a good Mother Wife and Friend while still managing to create a few things along the way…
*the top photograph was taken at the house we stayed in Pt Wells, the chairs were found on the side of the road in Taupo, the Turkish towel and striped bag are both from CITTA.