Bali and the bliss

HOLIDAYS have a wonderful way of rejuvenating the soul. And if you’re like me, perpetually wound-up and biting your nails in nervous anticipation of everyday life, then a holiday is a must.

I didn’t think I needed a holiday, per se. But it turns out I couldn’t see just how overwrought and spent I actually was. When I fell pregnant for the first time, I told myself I would have to slow down. Take baby steps into my new role, keep pace with a toddler and embrace days spent giggling and sighing.

But it never really goes like that, does it?

You hit the ground running with night feeds, teething, etc. I stopped working. But as my confidence grew, I attended a playgroup, then started working intermittently, took up kindergym, started a blog. Then I fell pregnant again. Two babies to mind, less maternity leave this time, moving house, more work from home, a second playgroup, swim lessons, a book launch… and suddenly this gentle pace is all-consuming.

And it’s deceptive in its consumption… when much of it is spent at the computer in your dining room, is it really work? And if your “appointments” are generally made at swing-sets or under parachutes, can you really say you’re run off your feet?

So, when I found myself in a luxury resort in Bali, both kids napping every day after trawling the street markets and splashing up a storm on the beach, I felt myself unfurl. Letting go of the angst, of when my next “thing” was, whether I could fit in a load of laundry, or get another chapter written…

This urgency I’d been living with dissipated. I did not nap with the kids (fool! I hear you cry). No, I sat in the heat of our balcony, sipping coke or UHT coffee milk (bleh), watching men clamber over a construction site metres away and let my mind drift. I sat and thought. I gave my brain a chance to decompress. I soaked up the silence, the lack of playdates and scheduling.

Heaven much?

I expected no revelations, no light-bulb moments, just the exquisiteness of an entire thought process without opening a popper for someone, or breaking up an argument. But I did realise something and, from the way my husband talks lately, I think he did too… that I love my life.

For all its maddening pace and daily frustrations, I wouldn’t change any of it. I love that I get to work with words, both as a job and as a hobby. That I get to be home with my children, see them hold hands when they think no one’s noticed. I love my playdates, the women I’ve met are becoming a support network I didn’t know I needed.

And my husband. My husband shares the cooking and cleaning, he tells me to leave the chores for another day and join him on the couch. He pokes fun relentlessly and when he comes through the door every afternoon, I can let go of some of that keen focus.

I, we, are blessed. And when you realise that, you consequently begin to enjoy it.

So no more “here, let me do it, you’re taking too long”. I’m reminding myself to walk at the kids’ pace again. Experience it with them, rather than dragging them at break-neck pace through the day, until it’s bedtime and suddenly the week has gone, the years are gone.

I’m not relinquishing any activities. Like I said, I love it all too much to surrender it. But just remembering to breath, take it in, take your time… I’m not “on the clock” anymore. I had no idea my years in nine-to-five office work became so deeply ingrained. I need to remember my original sentiment… if the kids must come first, I must remember to walk slowly behind.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. marketingtomilk
    Aug 07, 2011 @ 11:40:32

    I love this post. Okay, I hated it, until I got passed the fact ud gone to Bali, and then I loved it. To walk at ur childrens pace. What a wonderful description of something so important, and whixh I find almost painful to do. I’m in 5th gear, always. Learning to meander once in a while is so hard but so important.



  2. Peta
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 03:28:23

    Well, let’s just say … the lesson don’t last long when you get stuck behind a man with a walking frame and your son is busting for the toilet. My entire philosophy ate my dust then! 😉


  3. Cheryse Durrant
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 10:56:59

    Way to go, Peta-Jo!


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