How are you doing when you are on vacation? What is your rhythm?
For me, it took a long time to find and stick to a rhythm for my time off the job that would have me be rested and resourced at the end of my break from the long hours and juggling that my family life and job required.
It felt like there are only 2 states in which I could spend this precious time: switched off on a deck chair or following a detailed and interesting itinerary to visit the “must sees” in my vacation location. My inner voice told me that “cultivated people don’t just hang out on a deck chair. Now you’re here you want to see what the place has to offer, …”. So very often, I oscillated between my 2 states and felt good in neither. How can I catch up on sleep when I visit? How do I take advantage of where I am when I am switched off on a chair? And how do the children fit into this schedule?
Very often, I felt I had had a nice break but somehow felt neither rested nor resourced deep down. Starting another year of work with this subtle underlying tiredness I seemed to drag for 10 years with me.
What I enjoy now, and it took me some time to learn it, is to be open about what this vacation should bring. There are a few fixed points that the kids or we want to do and then there’s plenty of open time to be together. We are all switching gears for a few weeks.
My inner voice has become more quiet as there’s room to lean into my needs and wants, to respond to others’ needs in the moment. When I don’t visit everything, I tell myself that I’ll be back, that sitting here in the café sharing thoughts with my husband while the kids play on the sidewalk is more precious than seeing that next glass stained window in a church.
With this, I wish you a wise preparation of your vacation…
As a practice, every day of your vacation, leave some room to switch gears and feel what should be next. Maybe plan for a half hour break in your visiting schedule and in the moment of taking the break look for what feels attractive – a cup of coffee watching people in the street? getting lost in little streets? putting your feet in the sand and watch the horizon? Or let your child be your guide.
If you’re more in the deckchair mode: what would be a nice alteration of this rhythm? A talk? A walk? A book?
As for me, I’ll be leaving the little sleepy village here in France and head with friends to the coast bustling with people. We’ll be visiting and hanging out, hopefully getting “lost in France” in the best way.
oh, and here’s the link to Bonnie Tyler which inspired me for this post…