Ahhh holidays. It’s a word that holds so much promise.
I have just started my half-holidays. (That’s a word that holds approximately half the promise.)
I work two different contracts – a teaching contract and a research contract – and I have taken holidays from the research part and am continuing to work on all the teaching jobs. I had to keep teaching because it’s exam time, and there’s marking and collating to do. And also because I am nowhere near ready to start teaching next semester. There’s a heap of preparation that I need to get done. I’d be super-stressed if I tried to take four weeks off and cram it all into the week before semester starts.
But still, I have given myself two extra days off a week for the next four weeks. And I’m going to make the most of them.
Obviously, if I’m still working, I’m not heading off on a cruise, or spending my days sunning myself on a sandy beach in the Pacific. No, I’m spending the holidays the way I always want to spend them – at home, reading and writing. That’s the plan, anyway.
I want to finish this draft of my novel this holidays. I want to blog, and write my newsletter, and read at least a few of the books on my list. DH says that he knows I’m really relaxed when I start cleaning out and reorganising the cupboards. We’ll see if we get there, but we can always hope.
Things are a little different this holidays because DS is at home through the day most days, his gap year jobs tend to happen after-hours. So I won’t have the whole school day to myself like I have had in previous years. And sometimes, like right now, he will be downstairs in the den tutoring his students. And this week especially is a little different because my Mum is staying with us. At the moment Mum is in our lounge room working with two choral soloists on arias from The Messiah. Not the normal run of things, but excellent.
I always start my holidays with the joyous vista of uninterrupted me-time rolling out before me. I have such high hopes. But things never quite work out like that, do they?
For example, today, I spent some time writing my novel first-thing in the morning (a good start), then Mum and I Skyped with my sister in the USA, then I drove into work to pick up some exams to mark and to attend a farewell lunch for a colleague who is moving to Sydney, and when I got home from work I quickly ducked down to the bank to make sure that DD’s bond is paid so that she can move house on Friday, and then grabbed some groceries so that I can make tea tonight.
There are always little bits and pieces to do. And part of the joy of holidays for me is having the time to do the little bits and pieces. But I think I will need to make sure that I also take the time to invest in rest. And invest in the writing. I will be disappointed with myself if I don’t.
Actually, the aria is so appropriate:
Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest.
Take his yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(Here’s a link to the aria on YouTube: Come unto Him)
So stay tuned. I hope I will turn out a blog a little more frequently over the next four weeks. I hope I have a lot of quiet adventures to share with you.
How about you? How do you like to spend your holidays?
If you enjoyed this post and would like to hear more about my writing journey as it comes to the pointy end with my first novel (a cosy mystery), please drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to my newsletter list. I’ll still be writing posts on this blog but the newsletters will be more writing focussed – what I’m doing with my writing, and what I’m reading myself. I look forward to hearing from you,