There has been a lot happening in my life over the past few years, and it has had me putting off taking time out for a holiday.  Running a business,  selling a house, handing over the business to our son, moving house and then setting up in the next one can really take a toll on you both mentally and physically.

We did have one planned last year, but the week before we were due to head off Ross had triple bypass surgery, so that stymied any idea of a holiday for quite a few months.

Then when we stopped to add it all up it had been three and a half years since we actually had one.  Now you could perhaps say that being in semi-retirement, when there is no work booked for a few days, then that could be called a holiday.  And I have been known to call it that.  But now I know better.

We finally made the time to go away for a whole week — seven days of nothing in particular to do.  Sounds like bliss — well it was.

We have time-share, so we booked into a resort which was a three and a half hour drive away. The weather was perfect being in the low thirties every day.  So we would sleep late, have a leisurely brunch and then head off somewhere for a coffee.  We went to a  winery for tastings and a decadent lunch which was amazing, utilising local cheeses and dried fruits.  We wandered through a cactus farm and were staggered by not only the varieties but by the size of some.  Made us think a little differently about the few miserable cacti we have in our garden.

We would come back to our unit, get into our swimwear and head over to the pools — there was a choice of indoor or outdoor.  So we’d swim a while, have a spa and then head back to shower and either go out for a meal or build one at home (I travelled with my trusty Thermomix).

Then in the evenings we would either watch a DVD or some TV or just read.  There was no internet in the unit, but you could go to the lounge for some free WiFi if you really needed it.   Then at the end of the week we packed up and headed for home.

On the surface it didn’t seem like a big deal, but I am continually amazed at the energy I have had since we’ve come home.  Which made me realise just how low my batteries were.  I thought I was doing fine, but having that week away made such a difference.

Before I would start a project, but seemed to run out of puff and many didn’t get completed.  Now I’m finishing tasks that I’d started before, planning new ones, sleeping more soundly and generally feeling so much more energised.

So whilst it does take some effort to plan a break, the benefits by far outweigh that time spent planning and packing.  It’s called “Taking Care Of Yourself”

Now I know just how much I needed that break when I look back and see how I was before. So my plan is to take a break away from home on a more regular basis.  I’m definitely not waiting another three years for the next one.

When was the last time you really recharged your batteries?  Do you have a plan to re-energise in the near future?





Its a beautiful sunny day in Geelong   Ross mentioned that he hadn’t been grounding for a while, so we decided to drive down to Eastern Beach and walk / wade in the water there.

A bit more about Grounding – according to – “Grounding, or earthing, refers to connecting electrically with the Earth. A growing body of research is finding numerous health benefits as a result of the physical body being grounded.”

Call it whatever you like, it’s a very relaxing pastime. Although not a team sport, it is rather nice to do with someone else as I did today. The only requirement is to be barefoot, and to walk on earth, sand, and grass or in water.

On the positive side, there is nothing really to do other than walk along the beach or wade in the shallow water, so you are relaxing. It is also giving you fresh air and sunshine so a way of getting your Vitamin D quota on board. When there are small waves, as there were today, it can be quite mesmerising, so I tend to be off in another world.

I find it almost meditative, just allowing myself to be in the moment, not to think about the troubles that may await at home — dishes, ironing, cooking, dusting and vacuuming, not to mention family squabbles and the ever-present thoughts of loss.

There were other people about — lots of cars – it was difficult to find a park. There was a group playing soccer on the sand, people waling prams, walking dogs or just out for a stroll along the promenade. There were a couple of dogs enjoying a walk in the shallows too.

It really brought out the child in me, remembering how I often walked in the water at the beach near where I grew up. I’d look for treasures, carefully collecting small pieces of driftwood, seaweed and shells.

Today I picked up a shell, and by the time I got back to the car I had a stack of them tucked up in the front of my t-shirt – note to self – next time I need a bag to collect things.

I found a pretty sea urchin shell, seemingly intact but without occupants thank goodness – just a discarded home. Surprisingly there wasn’t much rubbish – I can recall seeing lots there on other visits, so it was pleasing to see. I also found a child’s small colourful rubber ball.

Going for a walk, whether it be along the beach or around the streets, contemplating Kelly’s death was something I found soothing in the early days. As the years have passed, I don’t have the need as much, but she is frequently part of my thoughts as I go on my daily walks.

Now I don’t really know what I will do with the shells, but. I’m looking forward to collecting more another day.

p.s:  Not such a sunny day today as when I wrote this post, but still a lovely one anyway.


The Grandfather Clock

Last week we brought home some of Ross’s dads things, and amongst these was the grandfather clock.   Now the clock has a history in our family as it was awarded to a good friend for services rendered (over many years) by the Fire Brigade in 1960.  So it has had pride of place in the family home for years.

Not wanting to see it tossed out, Ross said we’d have it.  Sounds like quite an innocuous thing, just a matter of finding a place in our home for it.                                                              Not so easy.

So we set it up in the family room, Ross wound it up, reattached the weights and pendulum, then it got going.                                                                                                                       All good.

Well, it chimes every quarter of an hour.  Not a loud strident noise, quite soft really.  So we thought it was okay.

We went to bed on Thursday night, some distance from the clock so that was fine.  A few hours later I got up and did some work in the kitchen, whilst the clock did its thing — every quarter of an hour.  I’d been lying in bed listening to the clock chiming, telling myself that I had fifteen minutes to get to sleep before it went off again!  Not working, very unhappy me!!  Finally I decided to try bed again, this time with the doors closed, effectively silencing the wretched thing.

So the next night I did the same, and it was fine.  Then I forgot to close the doors so another sleep deprived night.

The funny thing was that Ross said it didn’t bother him, although every time he sat in a chair he nodded off!  Sunday afternoon I had to have a Nanna nap because i was so tired.  Ross was also complaining of being tired, and as we are nearing a long overdue holiday, I had put the tiredness down to the usual pre holiday exhaustion.

Yesterday morning I announced that I had had enough, and the clock has to go – somewhere else, anywhere I really didn’t care.  So Ross turned off the chimes.                   Duh!

We discussed it, and decided that his tiredness is associated with the arrival of the clock, as was mine.  So despite him thinking it wasn’t disturbing him, subconsciously it was.

Then I started to think about how we all react differently to stimulus, and perhaps there are other things around us in our day to day lives that may be causing problems without us realising. Our phones and the television could also be potential distractions to our subconscious.

So what do you have in your life that may be a subconscious distraction?

Not sure what I’m going to do about the phone, but at least we both slept well last night.