Down time

This is going to sound terribly strange.

I have a week’s holiday soon – my honeymoon actually – CHILDFREE – and I’m petrified. It’s been so very long since I have had time without the kids, that I have no clue how I’m going to go with so much…FREE TIME.

Lis and I have had kids around for our entire relationship. There has been very little time at all for just us. So a whole week to ourselves is a complete novelty, and for me at least, somewhat of a foreign concept.

Our lives are so jam packed and busy, that the prospect of slowing down and ‘relaxing’ is, for me, absolutely terrifying.

I think part of why I have five children, aside from the fact that they are such beautiful beings, has to do with the fact that they bring out the best in me. I am able to see life through their eyes and it is a wonderful place. Life in my own head can be a battlefield, where I frequently and unintentionally wage a war against myself.

I know of many people who are the same – in fact, scratch the surface and I’m certain I’m in the majority. Try as we might, it’s a hard habit to overcome. It’s easy to fall victim to the modern epidemic where the grass is always greener, and ‘first world issues’ replace those such as hunger and hardship faced by so many.

I have suffered from Anxiety and Depression since I first came out at age 19, and the omnipresent ‘Black dog’ is at its worst when I am stagnant and left to ‘bellybutton gaze’.

Time to think is not my friend: I have built my life around this one not-so-noble truth.

One of my favourite artists, P!nk, sums it up beautifully when she sings, ‘Don’t let me get me – I’m my own worst enemy – I’m a hazard to myself’. That’s me without my children and my frantically busy life. They are my lifeblood and I’m truly lost without them.

With this in mind, for the past seventeen years, I have custom-made a life for myself around what makes me most happy and keeps me most busy – my children – and creating the most enjoyable, happy and active environment I possibly can for them.

That sounds corny. It’s not meant to – I honestly just love the way children see the world, and how easy it is for them to be ‘in the moment’ and take things at face value. Being around them makes me do the same. Yes they can be hard work, and yes some days they drive me mental, but on the whole, they help me see the good in the world. Around them, I am a better person.

It’s been so long since I’ve had any decent length of time away from the kids that I don’t even know where to begin.

So as this childfree week away rapidly approaches, I need some strategies. What do you do to enjoy yourself and unwind?

For the record, I’ll be doing my best to leave my friend, Black Dog, at home.

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