01 Oct Making space
Somehow, the last quarter of the year always feels like the busiest. We all know that the December holidays, and the end of another year, are just around the corner, so we push on full steam ahead to achieve those goals, get the last deal done, get in one more overseas board meeting, join up for new gym classes to lose the extra kilos before beach time, schedule all the parties to see friends we haven’t managed to touch base with all year. The diary looks like a colourful Christmas tree of appointments! Many of us look ahead at the next three months with dread, with the thought of the holiday as the sweet reward for making it to the finish line of 2019. We know that we’re already almost at the end of our tethers, our fuel tanks are already on empty and we still have more to come!
On the weekend, Ewan and I were chatting about fitting in a weekend away for some time out together. We often get caught up in the admin of family and work life and forget to plan out time to be together. Naturally, when we think about time out to rest and reset, we think of a destination away from home – a holiday. A holiday away from routine and admin, away from meal prep and school bags, away from emails and conference calls. But when we checked the calendars, they look remarkably similar to the Christmas tree I just described. We could cancel a few things and squeeze it in, but that would probably cause more stress and end up having the opposite effect. A bit disappointed, we acknowledged that it wasn’t going to work out. Then, on Sunday night, each reading our own book (a new thing we’ve started to avoid technology after 9pm), it hit me. I realized that we needed to do mini holidays right here at home! Right here in our week day and weekend routines.
We don’t always need to escape to a far off place to rest or unplug. We don’t need to be in a different bed, a different time zone, or on a different continent. Sometimes, we need to create space to have holidays at home, in the middle of our everyday routines. We can choose to read a book before bed rather than scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. We can have dinner on the deck with candles and music, rather than the usual quick couch meal before the laptops come out again. We can have picnics in the garden for breakfast with our kids on Saturdays, or a bike ride after dinner on a week day.
What I realised is that it’s not necessarily a separately set aside week of leave that is needed to renew our energy and put a spring in our step. What we should be doing is making space in the ordinary routines of our everyday lives for a bit of out of the ordinary. It’s the out of the ordinary moments of space that often help to make us feel lighter and refreshed. A bit like we do when we’re on holiday at the beach.