Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Manifesto for Living Like I Am On Holiday

Holidays are so flipping relaxing! Every time I return home I wonder how I can make my normal day to day life more like those fun times away. Our little family had a gorgeous weekend away recently, the first since we were blessed with our little Cave Baby, and this time I have vowed to do actually do something to make my life more like a holiday. Not too much - it has to be manageable within my normal routine. So here are my promises for how I will try to bring more calmness and happiness to our home:

1. Switch the TV off and fill the house with music instead. This is a two-in-one promise but they kind of go together, unless I just want crystal clear silence. Just now I am listening to Rufus Wainwright for the first time in nine months, and it is already making me feel happy. I spent all my time until the age of about 22 enveloped by music, but entering the world of work seemed to call a premature halt to all that and I fell into the all-too-easy habit of switching the television on. So, since music makes me feel good, I shall listen to it more.

2. Walk more slowly. Why do I rush everywhere? Even when I am walking down to the shops I overtake people and boil with frustration when I get stuck behind a couple of slowcoaches. This is no way to live! I think this promise may be more to do with changing my state of mind than changing my actual walking pace. Brisk walking is perfect to keep me fit, but there is no point in counteracting the health benefits by getting stressed when I have to slow down. Even if I happen to be rushing to make an appointment, a baby provides the perfect excuse for being late. Nobody expects a harassed mother to be on time for everything.

3. Read more. Reading is so much more satisfying than watching television. As a means of escapism, it is far superior. And despite requiring more mental exertion, it seems to leave the mind much more relaxed than an hour staring at a screen. On the face of it, my days would not appear to include many opportunities for reading. But when I have a really good book on the go I always manage to find time to read. There are times when Cave Baby is asleep, and times when she is going to sleep; times when she is playing with her daddy, and even times when she is in the mei-tai and I am waiting for a train. And to tackle the problem of my book never being near me when I want to read it, I will try to have a downstairs book and a different bedside book.

4. Smell the flowers. I mean literally, smell the flowers (and grass and mud and trees). It makes me feel so much better! It takes so little effort to pop outside for ten minutes and potter around the garden or walk around the block, but it calms me and Cave Baby absolutely loves it. So, whilst the weather is warm and clement enough to go outside in the evening, I will try to incorporate a little wander into our bedtime routine.

Right, that's it. Four small things that can hopefully make my life a little bit more joyful. And maybe by writing them down for all to see I can make myself hold to these promises.


Mon said...

This is great. It's funny how we seem to glide into this easy way on holiday and then retun to a manic life - like it's normal. lol
I like the idea of living like on holiday. It's about presence I suppose.

docwitch said...

Life without tv is so much better. Don't want to sound evangelical, but tv has such invasive presence, more noticeable the less we have it on. I love my days and nights spent with music playing.

Great list. I'm trying to not walk so quickly everywhere too.

flowers said...

Hey I *love* Rufus Wainwright!

One of our mottos is "family vacation" which means living life like we're on vacation.....all the time;-)

Cave Mother said...

flowers - "family vacation" sounds like a great way to live.