While I have always enjoyed holidays, I haven’t always looked forward to them as much as I perhaps should have. For some people, the planning, booking, anticipation and preparation are as much part of the holiday as the holiday itself. I am not one of those people.
For me, the thought of holidays used to feel like a hassle. An extra complication in my life that I could do without. The fact that the complication was self-inflected compounded the issue. The preparation required to be away from the office for a couple of weeks, and the subsequent “catching up” always felt like they added to an already hectic, often stressful situation.
At work I often had lengthy periods of extensive travel. I would spend too much time at airports, on planes or alone, eating Club Sandwiches in hotel rooms. There were many elements of a holiday trip that were reminiscent of business trips. Worse, I was likely to be surrounded by holiday-makers and the inefficiencies of Charter flights and Packaged Tour Guides!
I used to deal with the negatives by ignoring the fact that I was going on holiday until the last possible moment. I would rely on last minute preparations and, in event of emergency, the Credit Card to dig me out of holes.
To make things worse, I have never enjoyed packing / unpacking / re-packing – I used to get around this by living out of a suitcase. On occasion this would last for weeks after I had returned from holiday. My clothes returned to their proper homes as they are worn, washed and put away (not a quick cycle!).
When I was a kid, I used to hate missing school. As a result, there was more to being ill than the sickness… I hated it! I always used to feel like I was missing out on something. It felt like the day I missed would be the day when some critical, life-changing knowledge would be imparted. As a result I would be forever at a disadvantage. I guess it used to feel like missing work had similar implications, on some level I would forever pay for lost opportunities as a result of not showing up. After all, they do say that 90% of success is showing up!
As I say, I have always enjoyed holidays once they’ve (and we’ve) actually arrived. In particular, we’ve had some fantastic holidays over the past few years. We’ve created some really special family memories in some fantastic locations. They are really restorative to us all individually as well as a family. I’m relieved to say that I’ve never been quite so stubborn and narrow-minded as to think they weren’t a good thing.
My general feelings about holidays have softened considerably over time. Nowadays I look forward to getting away. To switching off and winding down. I’ve even been known to leave my work phone at home, introducing “emergency contact only”!
“Why”, I hear you saying, “is he rattling on about holidays?”. Well, on Friday we’re off to Rhodes (Greece) for a couple of weeks in the sun. It’s a substitute holiday for the Florida Trip we had to cancel because of my Heart Attack in the summer (the long haul flight, high temperatures, Amusement Parks and lifestyle really weren’t favourable for a new member of the Heart Attack Survivor’s Club!). We’re all looking forward to some sun, relaxation and healthy living. The 15 day forecast promises temperatures in the mid-20’s C.
Anyway, as I’m looking forward to the trip, my preparations started today with a trawl of potential reading material on Amazon. I’m quite excited about my choices – a variety of educational, trivial and thought provoking titles to keep me occupied.
Having got the “long lead” preparations out of the way, I guess I should start thinking about packing. I do however still have almost a week before we go… so that can wait for another day!