Sometimes, things don’t seem to get any easier. (or maybe they do, but I only really focus on them when they are tricky?)
Half Term is once again upon me. I imagine lots of teachers are celebrating. I’m relieved, but I’m not joyful.
My ideal half term is a few days away with friends then a few days at home to potter and organise myself for the next bit. My usual go-to-family weren’t around this holiday, and I realised that I was really feeling sad about it. I’ve been trying to think through why… and I think its for two main reasons
- the dilemma is what do I do instead but also
- I miss them and that time with them… but why?!?
I’ve known they were not around for ages- and I was actually trying to be very pro-active about this holiday. In good DBT style I was trying to consider what did I want… what did I need… and how could I meet those.
I’ve searched solo holidays, I nearly booked a ski-ing trip, but didn’t really want to go alone. I even booked a dog-friendly hotel for a couple of nights. I ended up cancelling it as I thought it might be a bit miserable… I considered another fitness boot camp… I tried to find a craft or writing residential but I couldn’t… I’ve really researched but nothing was grabbing me. I either couldn’t quite face driving hours to get somewhere, or I didn’t want to leave the pups or it just didn’t seem like much fun by myself…
So I decided for myself, that I was going to stay put. Potentially a healthy choice. But then I found myself mentally preparing list upon list of things that I wanted to get done in the house, or in school, or in my studies or in my hobbies! I was arrested by the fact that my default position was busy-ness and achievements…
And then I refer back to my perennial issue of what does rest look like for me? the reality is, I love getting things ticked off my list- that makes me feel more restful, but as soon as one list gets completed- another one forms… somewhere and somehow I have to learn to stop.
So, at the start of half term, I decided that not only will I stay put, but also I will do my utmost to not be so driven and task-orientated. The main reason being that I had put things in place on a few days and I didn’t quite have long enough to make a visit worthwhile.
But things started to unravel pretty quickly! Firstly, I found out that I could have been to my friends… so that really threw me, secondly, to punctuate my week, I put some things in place- today’s got cancelled. Thursday’s isn’t looking promising and then friends I am visiting at the weekend are going out on Saturday night so I’m on babysitting duty!!!
But I’m holding on. But I hate that. Holidays are precious. I don’t want to survive. I want to flourish and replenish. I hate the thought of just getting through- that is so selling myself short. But I’m not going to run away.
This has been more revealing to me. I miss seeing my friends as I love them. They are adventurous fun-loving friends who I enjoy being with greatly. But also I realised they are my fix of ‘normality’. My fix of family. They have two wonderful children who have known me all their lives and who just accept me as I am.
At New Year there was such a special afternoon. Each child was in their own room doing their thing. The dad was in his study doing his thing. The mum was doing her thing and I was in my room doing my thing. I absolutely loved it. Separate but together. It felt so wonderfully normal. People doing what they needed but coming back together (for food!). I miss that. I wish I had that. This half term that’s also what I’m missing and it feels painful to me at this point in my life.
So what do I do about it?
To be honest, I don’t entirely know. I am highly grateful for my home and my life. I do not think for one moment the grass is greener on side of any fence. My garden is pretty lush thank you very much. Wonderful friends and families that embrace me wholeheartedly. But something is missing. Really missing for me. And that has to be what I try and face. I just don’t know how.
Anyway, a longer ramble than usual- but needed to process much!
Thanks for listening.