This is the first time in my life I haven't had a solid two week Summer holiday booked and that's the most middle class thing I've ever said. My parents didn't have Summer holidays when they were kids so they wanted to make sure we did, for family and for memories and we've been on one every July/August for a fortnight since I was a toddler to this year when I turn 25.
They were by no means no expense spared lavish holidays, we've never been aboard, we didn't do Disney, we did Cornwall and Devon and stayed in the UK. But this year I house sat and cat sat whilst my parents went away and then me and Joss joined them for a few days before they came home. After nearly 25 years our family Summer holidays have ended, we don't all have time off together, me and Joss can't afford a fortnight away on our own and I thought I was fine with that.
It was me that suggested staying at home to look after the cat so she didn't have to spend too long at the cattery (she old, she hates it), it was me that enjoyed 10 days being home alone and yet it was also me that had to come home when I'd just got into the swing of being away.
You know when you first go away and you take a few days to get settled? To find out where the local shop is for your essentials, the shortcut to the main road, how the shower works, a few nights to get used to the bed before you have a decent nights sleep? By the time I got to that stage it was my last night away.
Maybe the problem was I kept saying 'on my holidays'. I've been away a few times this year on a night away with friends or maybe a weekend and I have about 3 booked for the rest of the year but for some reason, maybe because it was August, I kept saying 'my holiday' not 'when I'm away'. Like I bigged it up in my head and when I left the house and travelled 2 and a half hours to Dorset to my parents I felt like I was going away for a fortnight? On the day we left Joss said to me 'are we only away 4 days?' like he hadn't realised either.
I think maybe I'd geared myself up for a break and maybe I just didn't get that? Don't get me wrong I had such a lovely time away, we were only there a few days and it absolutely bucketed down for all but one day but we've been to Dorset millions of times and it feels comforting to me. But it was one day of travelling, a few days away that were jam packed with getting in everything we wanted to do and then we travelled back late at night and were thrown straight back into real life when we got back.
You know when you feel like you need some time to recoup after being away? Like you're at home but you want a lazy day or two to get your washing done, to chill on the sofa, to catch up with TV. We came home at some ungodly hour Thursday night last week and the Friday I was back babysitting my niece, we were back selling cider on Saturday and we went on a family trip on Sunday and it hasn't really stopped since then.
Factor in the fact I had the genius idea to have a massive blog redesign whilst I was gone and actually I didn't really have a break at all? I didn't read a single page of the book I brought with me, I didn't read my magazines, I didn't chill out at all.
My life is busy. It's just full on all the time, I'm switched on every waking second of the day. Not working a strict 9 - 5 job somewhere away from home means I am constantly on the go, managing running the house and boring chores with my niece at least 3 times a week and working. My down time has always been watching TV in an evening after tea yet now for the past year and a half my downtime has been watching TV and blogging, which I'm sure you'll agree isn't really down time at all.
I wrote an utterly rambly post a while back about not taking time for myself and getting run down a few times a year and that's just how my life is, I haven't changed since then when I acknowledged I needed to slow down some times. I'm constantly travelling from one family members house to another, I always have 10 birthday cards ready to post and 10 presents to think of. I have dates coming out of my ears and to do lists and things to do for everyone else and a million to do for myself.
My life is on the go, my business means I don't have an 'end' to the working day, my hobby (side hustle?) is blogging which means I'm permanently plugged in, technology means I'm forever in reach and my family are reliant on my organisation and flexibility to be there for them.
I need a break, we all need a break. Coming home from them few days away and realising I didn't have, and won't have this year, a full fortnights holiday where I might actually relax made me realise just how bad I needed one.
In a few weeks I am off for a long weekend with my blogging gals. The following month me and Joss are going back to Dorset for 2 nights. Before Christmas I plan to visit my uni pals before the year is out. I'm absolutely buzzing for all of them, for seeing all these different people and for going away and getting away from home. I have said before travel and time with the people I love and don't get to see much is something I'll always invest in because I feel like the best sparkly version of myself when it's done but it sure as hell ain't relaxing. I love driving, I'm the biggest advocate of a road trip and I live far away from anyone so 9 times out of 10 it's me making the 4+ hour journey either way to see people. It's draining, you cram everything in to just a few days, you stay up late catching up and you eat like shit. And I love it.
But this Summer if anything has taught me that on the go isn't sustainable all the time. I know it, we all know it, I'll probably write 10 of these posts on a similar thought line without making a change. I've come back from my 'holiday' and my hayfever has hit me like it hasn't in years and I KNOW it's because I'm not running on 100% health. My eczema is being kept at bay but I have all the warning signs of it flaring up again.
We need a break - a proper one. Don't get me wrong we can't all afford a two week holiday in the sun, I sure as heck can't. But next year me and Joss have said we're going to aim to, just a week, just in the UK but we're going to save up and we're going to go because we need it.
We need that head space we need that time away from home, from normality, from people who want us and chores that need doing. I'm going to take my books and my magazines and do some drawing just for fun not business. And it might be a year away but I can't bloody wait.
The photos from this post were taken on National Trust Brownsea Island just off Poole Quay and is the most idyllic slice of paradise off the south coast ever.