F**K productivity, I’m going on holiday

I was getting lost in planning the future. So I’m packing my bags to take a holiday. Here. In my everyday life.

Illustration drawing ipad painting postcard wish you were here

I going on holiday right here. Laura Eades 2014

Wish you were here?

Come along! Sack off productivity this week and just hang out. Apply your scheming mind to organising pingpong games, eating outdoors, and setting aside time for chucking stones at a bottle on the wall.

Doctor’s orders

In the old days, people with TB were sent to breathe fresh air in Switzerland or by the sea. Weren’t they?? Or did I make that up?

Well, my inner doctor realised that I was getting sick. ‘Hurry sick’ (Hello, Type A personality). Future sick. The symptom? Surfing the internet for MA programmes. Whaaat??? I just had a baby, helloooo Laura!!!

That is a sure sign of being on the brink of giving oneself an anxiety attack – using the internet to ‘numb out’ the present by trying to rustle up that familiar drug, accomplishment.

Why run from the present? Because I’ve forgotten to fill it with friends and fun and play.

Fun riot

Just to repeat:- Too much emphasis on productivity; The remedy: fun, joy, laughter, relaxation, rest.

The only planning I’ll do

… is pack my bag today. I’m serious. I’m actually getting deliberate about it. Gathering my fun materials. Because I’m a planning addict, but this is fun! Like laying a treasure hunt for myself.

What’s usually in my holiday bag? 

  1. A novel. I’m going to the second-hand book shop over the road from this cafe in just a minute. I’m not reading any self-help manuals next week, they are too self-improving. (Got it! Therapy by David Lodge, funny, light…)
  2. Swimming gear. I’m ordering a costume on the internet. Being in water makes me feel great and makes my daughter squeal with delight. Even if we’re just sitting down in the paddling pool!! (Order email says ‘shipped’! Whoopee! If no swimming will wear it over my clothes like Lady Gaga)
  3. Clothes that feel good. I’m spunking some money (very little, as it happens, but it feels naughty as I rarely do it) on a post-maternity wardrobe overhall. Sometimes feeling good starts with feeling like you’re looking good – well that’s how Chris usually approaches it (Me: “I’m feeling blue”. Him: “Need a haircut?”). And not having, like, uncomfortable waistbands. Relaxed, flowing clothes are needed for slouching, lounging, floating around in! Yep. Gonna drift.
  4. Postcards. Yo. I mean it. Stamped-up postcards. Because I miss my friends right now and I want to halt the idea that there isn’t time to connect. Because a disconnected present is no present at all. And because I won’t have an internet connection on my home holiday. (Got 10 stamps for UK yesterday. Better get busy with the addresses).
  5. Recipes. My husband and I always dream up some great cooking on holiday. Sometimes having a recipe or two to try is the starting-point. It usually involves a local ingredient we’ve never tried. (I’m not gonna cook much this week cos Chris is away and I’m single-handed. But I will try to buy some extraordinary items when I shop to feel more exotic – keep you posted).
  6. Un-ordinary events. I’ve never taken my daughter to the children’s theatre. I’ve never walked Berlin’s canals. Always wanted to do a tour of the black-and-white PhotoAutomat machines. What else can I try? Pretty much the city’s my oyster with a super-portable breastfeeding babe.
  7. Drawing stuff. Not the ipad, I guess, cos I might be tempted to go on the internet. And I’ve been given some great doodle books and coloured pens and pencils, also gonna dig out a couple of juicy clean notebooks that are intimidatingly empty (and therefore perfect).

And these will be my activities for the week:

  • Plans, ambitions and dateswill evolve during the holiday. Nothing heavier than, shall we have X or Y for lunch? Spontenaiety will be key, so no plans to be made before morning coffee has been drunk.
  • As many meals as possible outdoors, or with a view, or a sunset. Dunno why, but when I’m on holiday I’m always climbing hills to eat supper looking out to see, or getting up early to breakfast in bird hides or whatever. Once, my Dad and I cooked a whole dirty great Full English Breakfast for supper on a camping stove on a sand dune. Sod having meals at the kitchen table this week.
  • Siestas. If I catch myself thinking I ‘can’t afford’ a nap next week, then I’d better get my head down to get my head straight. Sit on a bench in a ray of sunshine and let the eyelids drop for 5 minutes.
  • Meditation. Sigh. Hm. I’m not going to talk about it, I’ll save my energy for the doing of it. Tell you about it later.
  • Hang out with friends and loved ones. My Dad’s coming to stay so I’m sure we’ll chatter away. Cafes. Sunny spots. Picnics. Walks.
  • Usual stuff I’ve got to do in the week. I’m going to pretend I’m on holiday so I won’t mind doing it. If I can, I’ll give it a twist and think “When I’m on holiday, I do it like this”. eg shopping, buy weird fruit and carry it home looking at all the colourful people/washing, hang it up in rainbow order on the balcony/hoovering, put on some music/feeding the baby, pick a nice chair, a nice view.

I’m so excited

I’d better have a nap to calm down.

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Are you attempting to get nowhere this week? I’d like to hear about it? Or is this how you usually live? Then how do you manage it? Open up the comments section below by clicking on the pale grey dot with a ‘plus’ sign that’s underneath the blogpost.

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