As August draws to a close so do the end of the British summer holidays. The mornings and evenings start to have that autumnal feel and the new term peeks its head around the corner. Poppi has her new school shoes (with which she is so incredibly pleased I had to persuade her that they were not suitable to wear to the sandy play park before she has even worn them to school) and it is no longer light at 6 o’clock in the morning (why should I know that – I’m a morning person, that’s why). The holidays can bring such a mixed bag of emotions for us all. They can feel endless and exhausting as we single-parentally manage our way through day trips and activities or they can whizz by and we feel we haven’t caught our breath before term starts again. For me, this summer has been a bit of both. We managed a wonderful two week home exchange but as soon as we were back work started again and Daf was up to his eyeballs with an impending work deadline and Iron Man training as if it had never paused whilst away. We returned to our traditional tag-team way of living as if we hadn’t blinked. So, here is my blink. I have taken the time to reflect on what holidays mean to me. Why don’t you have a go too?
H is for home. When Poppi was little we soon learnt that when (whilst on holiday) we said “we’re going home” she would naturally think we meant our Cardiff house. Thus, we named our holiday homes. The names were simple (such as “the brown house” (it had a brown door)), but helped her distinguish home from home. Isn’t that lovely though, when you can feel relaxed enough on a holiday to say “let’s go home”. Home is a massive part of my life. It absolutely is where my heart is. It’s such a blessing to be able to take my heart on holiday with me.
O is for opportunities. I love that about holidays. We often try something new or something we wouldn’t regularly do. I remember so many holidays as a younger adult when my whole family would go out kayaking for the day. Wow, some of you might say! Well, it was always the most stressful day of the holiday for me! For some reason, even as a strong swimmer, I would become incredibly anxious and therefore highly strung! Nevertheless, in the end, it was always a relief and an achievement. A relief because I’d done it and an achievement because I’d done it! I must be a stronger person for it too!
L is for loveliness. We have stayed in some beautiful places over the years. Going on holiday really is a great excuse to experience some of the lovely places just on our doorstep or slightly further afield. We also had some lovely moments on our holiday. Poppi would get up every morning and just want to colour for a while before starting the day. It was so lovely to have the time to do this with her and not be rushing onto the next thing.
I is for ice cream. It wouldn’t be a holiday without one.
D is for different places. We may travel for work or to see extended family, but there is something about stopping in place for a space of time and appreciating the differences.
A is for adventure and activity. It wouldn’t be a Morse holiday without an element of either. We like to go off the beaten track and definitely stay active. Poppi has become an expert in storytelling after our 5km walk through the Black Forest in Germany. It turned out to be a successful technique to help her observe her surroundings and use her imagination to wonder at how they came to be (we basically told story after story about trees, numbers on trees, certain flowers, winding paths until we reached the park, her reward at the end). We have learnt over the years that holidays are for all of us and that means activities are for all of us. That is a definite way to bring adventure into the holiday – trying things that someone else would like to have a go at too!
Y is for ymlacio (the Welsh word for relax). There absolutely has to be an element of this in a holiday. But, it is important to figure out and appreciate how we relax as it’s all different – me; a beautiful morning run, Daf; language learning, visiting different places, Poppi; colouring and being with us both.
So, there is my blink (or maybe it was 40 winks!). It’s so important to notice our blessings before they fade into distant memories. By doing this it helps us consolidate those positive times and come away with a more positive attitude (my goal for the next term!). Why not take a blink and notice a blessing today.