Anyone who has read any of my blog will know that I spend a substantial amount of time wittering on about how stressed I am, how I never have time to myself anymore, yada yada, blah blah blah. I bore myself on this topic, never mind anyone else.
Well, all my complaining has come back to bite me on the rear end.
Suddenly, I find myself presented with two opportunities to relax and do something for me. Well, I say suddenly but that isn’t entirely true. One of these opportunities has been on the cards for a while, five years to be precise.
I am very fortunate to be working for a company that rewards five years of service with a four week paid sabbatical that you can also add two weeks of holiday to. This means you can take six weeks off at once. The whole point is that you are supposed to do something for ‘you’ and come back all refreshed and sparkly and raring to go again. I have planned this fantasy six weeks out in my head for a while – I will do a course, I will go off on my own , I will….
What will I do? Well, the current plan is a two weeks family holiday (something we have never managed to do). This is booked and all organised – we’ve rented a villa on the coast near Barcelona and I intend to do nothing but drink local wine and laze about in the pool. All good.
But…. I have also agreed with my lovely husband that I get a week somewhere on my own. That’s right – no husband, no kids. Whoop, Whoop (actually, I would love to spend the week with him but he can’t get any more time off).
This seems like a godsend. The world is my oyster, all that is limiting me is my imagination and slightly unfortunately, my budget!
You’d think this would be easy. But actually, I am finding it extraordinarily difficult. What the hell do I want to do for a week on my own?
I started off thinking about a detox/spa type of holiday. All well and good, except that all the places that I actually fancy are HORRENDOUSLY expensive. I found this perfect place which is a women only hamman in Morocco. It looks beautiful, you wander around in a robe for the week and get pampered. Idyllic. Except there were no prices anywhere on the website, just reviews from people like the editor of Vogue (that should have given me a clue). So I wrote off to them enquiring about availability and dates. They got back to me immediately saying that they could create the week around me for whatever dates I wanted. Then I realised why – they sent me the price list. It is all inclusive (not flights though) and worked out at £350 a NIGHT…
Scratch that off the list.
I then thought about more of a detox place (based on the thinking that just juice for a week wouldn’t cost that much) but they are either like military camps (one website even had an animated gif of what a colonic looks like….really) or they are in thailand and take 13 hours to get to.
Then I thought about some kind of activity holiday based on the fact that I’d be bored by myself in a normal hotel for a week. Yoga sounded slightly dull for a whole week, cycling too exhausting, sailing fun but what if you were trapped on a boat with weirdos for a week? I found a lovely idea which is learning to surf on a girls only holiday in Morocco. I like the water, I’ve enjoyed the few times I have surfed. Then I looked at the video which shows some of the people who go on it. They were all about 19, perfectly toned and trendy. I would have to share a room and to be honest, I think I am a bit too old for a hostel type of experience with girls who look like Gap models.
So, I’m a bit stuck. Now, I am thinking about going to visit a friend of mine who lives in Italy and maybe we can spend a couple of days at the coast. That would actually be perfect if I can work it out.
How can it be so difficult to come up with something to do for a week??? I shouldn’t be complaining at all. Maybe I have forgotten how to be on my own.
The next opportunity came about more unexpectedly. I am in between roles at work at the moment and asked for some time off last Friday to get my head together. My boss told me to take the week off.
If I were on my own, I’d have flown off somewhere for the week. As it is, my husband is away for work for the week, I have 2 lovely kids to look after and my parents are arriving on Wednesday afternoon.
So, I am having a staycation. I am not doing all the jobs that I should be doing round the house.
Instead, this morning I had a massage. This afternoon I am staying in bed reading and writing. Tomorrow, I am having a facial and a body scrub. Thursday I am getting fake tanned. I have magazines to read, baths to take, Got to Dance and Girls to watch on Sky Plus. The plan is by the end of the week, I will be a completely new person
I am embracing the relax. Which has taken me entirely too long to do.
I used to be very good at it.