I'm just back from enjoying a week's break with the family and friends up in the north of Scotland. It's our first holiday away for over a year (due to Grace's birth and a house move) and so we were well overdue some getaway time. Our time away was enhanced by good company, great conversation, beautiful scenery, marvellous food and some gorgeous walks to compensate for the amount of marvellous food we consumed. Despite all of us enduring a tummy and sick bug, we had a well worthwhile break.
My husband and I tend to do alot of thinking and processing of 'stuff' when we're away together, and like him, my experience of going away on holiday can be a challenging time also. Despite benefitting from being away, there are times when I feel that holidays don't do for me what they should. Colin jotted down a few thoughts on why a Pastor struggles to relax on holiday, but here are a few things which, as a wife and mother of 3, I find myself battling against. Do any of these things resonate with you? If so, what do you do to overcome them?
1. The pre-holiday washing, ironing and packing of clothes as well as organinsing the other 101 things you need to take with you can not only be very draining but stresses me out no end and makes me horribly irritable.
2. On the way there is a sense of relief and anticipation, though regret at the state in which you left the house and the things that you forgot to bring.
3. The need to bring structure (because that's how it is) to what should be an easy-going unstructured time away.
4. Continuing with the mundane tasks of feeding, bathing, cleaning up after the children and generally feeling that you aren't really getting a break at all.
5. Frustrated with knowing that your husband is also struggling to relax.
6. Frustrated that the kid's behaviour is worse than usual.
7. Frustrated that someone, if not more than one, fall ill.
8. Wondering what's happening back at home with church, family and friends.
9. Dreading the holiday ending, knowing that your husband will be going back to work.
10. Feeling the need to get back to normal and almost wishing you were back home.
11. Dreading going home to the pigsty that you left.
12. The prospect of a suitcase load of washing and ironing.
13. Coming home just as tired as you left.
I would add, that on this holiday we stayed with friends who more than helped with entertaining the kids, cooking and washing. In addition, my parents popped round to our house while we were away and did some necessary cleaning for us - a great surprise when we arrived home!