Brace yourselves, it’s time for a holiday
‘Anyone got the charger? Where’s my camera? How many pairs of shorts? Give me your washing now or not at all’.
And so our summer holidays begin. After months of preparation, hours of browsing the web for good deals and fun things to do, many of us are travelling down the tunnel towards that tantalising light, which can, as time gets short, become ever more threatening.
Why did I invite people for supper last night when I have barely enough time to throw together eggs on toast? Why did the car break down last week so that it has to go to the garage this week, just when I need it? Why is it such a hassle to go on holiday, when I used to get home from work on a Friday night, bung some stuff in a bag, and be out by 8 o’clock for the 11 o’clock ferry?
‘Has anyone de-flea’d the cats? Do the chickens need cleaning out? Who will water whilst we are away?
Has anyone else in South Buckinghamshire just smashed a full bottle of olive oil over the kitchen floor because they are whizzing about too much and it slipped from their hands? Ah. Just me, then’.
But when you actually ACTUALLY leave the house and finally shut the door (although there was the famous time, about 10 years ago, when we left for France leaving the front door wide open.....our neighbours thought for at least two days that we were still here) it’s not so much the going away and the (hopefully) nice place and good food which make a great holiday, it’s the living in the moment with your favourite people, catching up on how things are, having more time to listen and to laugh; remembering why you care about them so deeply.
Our lives are so frenetic that sometimes we can become just co-workers or roofsharers rather than a family; you can forget to ask how everyone’s day has been or get frustrated rather than concerned when someone is rather quiet, and plays with their dinner instead of eating it.
So here’s to a few weeks in which time slows down, priorities re-adjust, relationships are fostered and memories made. I will try to live my summer mindfully.
‘It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and we leave in five minutes. Why is now a good time to say you have lost your passport??’