The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Happy Mondays …
October 2, 2023, 8:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Family, Fatherhood, Holiday, Jill, My Childhood, My Fatherhood, Otis

So I’m back.

And of all the trips I go on, this was one of the best.

In fact it was the best I’ve had since 2016.

Specifically June, 2016.

And why can I be that specific?

Because I wasn’t on a business trip, I was on a family holiday … our first since 2016.

OK … so when we first moved back to England we spent 4 days in a house in another part of England, 2 hours from where we lived … and we visited family in Australia a couple of times … but in terms of a ‘get-away-from-everything and everyone, have nothing to do and just hang out with each other’, this was the first one in 7 years.

There’s many reasons why it has been that long – all basically my fault – but it was magical.

Bizarrely it felt a bit like Covid.

Not the horrible parts of it, I mean the highly privileged version I got to have by being in the wonderful company of my wonderful family 24/7.

I’ve written a lot about how special that was for me. How utterly fortunate that was for me.

And while this family time lasted a fraction of covid time, it had the added benefit of having no expectations or commitments … other than check in with the folks staying in our house so we could see how Rosie and Sky were doing.

A break from everything is incredible.

Now, I admit, the impact of this wasn’t as big as my first ever New Zealand Christmas holiday – a time where most of the nation shuts down to ensure everyone enjoys a time of rest – it was pretty close.

I stepped away from all things work.

I was left alone by all things work.

And I was left with nothing to focus on but my family.

No agendas. No time limits. No interruptions.

Of course they deserve that and it shouldn’t take a holiday to do that.

And it doesn’t … but this was more than just together time, this was building new memories together time. I know, I sound like bloody Paula Abdul, but it was that wonderful to me. I mean … look at this photo I took.

Look at it … it’s bloody awesome. [the view, not the photo]

Of course it’s a privilege to be able to do this.

And I am under no illusion how lucky I was to be able to do this.

I remember as a kid, we didn’t have a holiday for 6 years. To be honest, I never realised it because we would go for day trips to places. But as I got older I realised the lack of a holiday was because they just didn’t have the cash and would rather use any money they saved to ensure I had what I needed.

God, my parents were amazing. I really hope they know how much I recognised that in them.

Now of course, you don’t have to go to another country to have ‘a holiday’, but I do think you have to be in a different place to where you live.

Maybe it’s why I resonated so much with something the writer Nora Ephron once said about things she’d miss once she’d died.

She said, “Few things are as special as dinner with friends in cities none of you live in”.

She’s right. There’s something so special about that.

And while she meant everyone at the table lived somewhere different, it works for families too.

After 7 years, I can say that with utter certainty.

I hope everyone has a chance to do that – but I know they don’t.

I hate how companies treat holidays as a ‘gift’ rather than a right.

Especially those who talk about unlimited holidays when we all know it’s a total scam.

If there’s unlimited holiday, then why do you ever have to come into the office?

Exactly … it’s a PR headline, not a reality.

Which is why I’m so grateful I got to embrace and enjoy it.

And I’m so sorry I’ve been the barrier to having more of it.

So thank you to my wonderful family for creating new memories for us all to enjoy.

As use of time goes, it’s one of the most productive of them all … which is far more than I can say about the next few days. Because I am back on a plane, but this time for work rather than family adventure. But on the bright side, at least everyone gets another holiday from me.

You’re welcome.

See you next week.

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