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30 December 2014

on rest and relaxation

This year has been exhausting; there was my break up in March, I moved house in May, I then had Mum here until July when I started my new job, and then it was summer! Couple that all with being newly single, and trying to figure out *how* (and who!) to date, making new friends, hosting old friends, socialising with my current friends more, and just generally being one busy blogger - not to mention the five (FIVE) holidays I've had since September... I've barely had time to stop. I reckon since my birthday in September, I've been home maybe one night a week. That sounds crazy, right? And maybe once upon a time I would have relished having such a full social life - and honestly, I don't begrudge being occupied and distracted, at all, I just... honestly am getting too old for this shit.

When I say that I've had five holidays, what I mean is, I've had five trips away. Out of town. Away from London. But that's not to say they were any kind of relaxing. There was Salzburg, Vienna and Bratislava for my 30th in August/September, The Cotswolds to visit family for a boozy weekend in September, rainy Oslo for Halloween, Nuremberg Christmas Markets early on in December, and then there was this past holiday; for the last week, Rebekah and I have been in the Lake District, holed up in a gorgeous seaside cottage with a stocked fridge, a couple bottles of booze, a good book each, and the keys to a rental car...and it's been utter bliss.

For one whole week over Christmas, I planned to do a whole lot of nothing. Despite renting the car with every intention of "seeing the countryside", what I really wanted to do was rest. To put my feet up. To go to bed early, to stay in bed late. To watch daytime TV and completely revel in the fact this was time allocated off work, BY my work - and statutory bank holidays (Merry Christmas!). Six whole days away with no concrete plans - such bliss!

Well, we certainly didnt actually end up "doing nothing", no. What we *did* do, was a fair bit of eating (tis the season, after all!). Ugh. I feel gross thinking about all the food we overindulged in this past week, but, whatever. Right? Regardless of (or probably, in part, *thanks to*) that, I definitely *did* manage to squeeze in a whooooole heap of sleeping - food coma, maybe? And we ventured out - both locally and further afield, but we generally *took it easy*, and bloody well RELAXED. Its amazing how much sleep your body will allow itself when the alarm on your phome is switched OFF.

(I tell a lie. I definitely almost gave myself an ulcer driving our big dumb car on the Lakes' narrow and winding roads - my first time driving in the UK and without first consulting the road rules to establish things like, oh you know, the speed limit, and what the roadsigns all mean, etc. No biggie!)

So, what have I learned of the benefits of rest and relaxation while I've been away? Well, that it's important to stop every now and then, and actually smell the roses. That sleep is as much fuel for you body as food is. That a healthy mind requires some quiet, to centre, re-align and be ready again to tackle life. And actually that nothing is more painful on a sensitive city girl's nose than the fresh sea air. Seriously; have you even taken in a massive whiff of that stuff, first thing in the morning? Crikey, it's like insta-freeze on your sinuses! Fresh air is a shock to the system alright. But, I couldn't recommend it more, for a cure for all that ails you.

I know that when I get back to London that things won't stay so calm. Ok, Christmas is done for another year, and maybe the social life will settle down now that we're all not so eager to squeeze one another in before the end of the year, but generally life will pick up where it left off, pre-holiday. But, I think given that my clear head and (rounder belly) rested body are getting pretty bored of eating and sleeping all the live long day, I will have the mental ability to tackle the pressure of my day-to-day life a lot better than maybe a week ago. That I'll be prepared for the onslaught. That I'll be ready to say NO when it's needed. That I'll choose my YESes more carefully. That I'll be selective. That I'll make better choices. That I'll sleep more.... Here's hoping, anyway.

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