It is always difficult returning from a holiday. For a start, there’s the house. It always seems that little bit ‘distant’ – a shock to the system in which one is desperately pleased to be back on terra firma, but where the sense of responsibility and routine smacks you between the eyes like a low hanging sign.
And then of course there are the piles. Of washing. Of bills. Of junk mail. Of filing that you hid away in the excitement of going on holiday. Of decisions that you have been putting off, but with the excuse that you are going on holiday.
And the biggest thing to contend with is the feeling of anticlimax. The ‘is that it now?’ The thought that the benefits of being on holiday dwindle faster than the tide washes the sand beneath your feet. That your happy bonded family will be dispersed by the electronic pull of friends far more knowledgeable than silly old mum and dad and their crap in-car music, or the many activities in which your children bond with others, charging towards the same goal with a common purpose, and as a parent you become secondary to these responsibilities of youth. And the feeling of dread hangs over you like a sword of Damacles as you load the washing machine for the fifth time that day, or go food shopping for a ‘normal shop’ – splashing out on a French stick to hold on to that holiday feeling for just that little bit longer…
Those who are on Facebook may have noticed a recent trend in which people are nominated to join in for a week of Positivity – over 7 days you post a daily list of three things that are or have had a positive effect on you. This sounds easier than it actually is. I was nominated by two people when I was on holiday in Italy – and decided to set myself the challenge of doing it when I got back, in the hope that it would offset the post holiday blues.
It was an eye opener. It involved a different mindset. A willingness to unfetter my exterior shell of capability and culpability and see the world differently. In a normal situation I veer wildly from a glass half empty to a glass half full. I had to look past the washing precipice of pessimism into the lake of optimism. I had to fish something out of that lake, three times a day for 7 days.
And I did it. Sometimes it was a bit of an old boot – a negative on the noisiness of the bin men turned into a positive - more times it was a revelation – you can have fun in the rain, people can surprise you, there are new discoveries and places just round the corner if you keep your eyes open.
And I’m not sure if it was conscious, or subconscious, but my little family changed too. The boys have all offered, and cooked, meals this week (within their capabilities). We have kept up with the holiday routine of clearing the table and washing up rotas. We’ve had some really fun conversations or short trips out. The holiday bonding has carried on temporarily because none of us want it to break. I say temporarily, not to be pessimistic, but realistic - Life will inevitably get in the way, but for the moment we are all enjoying the positive effects.
Positive. My Word of the Week, for a week.
Til next time.
Have you done the Positivity challenge? How did you get on?