As I sit here, listening to the sounds of the cicadas, the scent of lavender enamoring me with every gentle wind blow, almost hearing these last days of my vacation swoosh by, I can’t think but reminisce back on my weeks away. (I know how lucky I am for the plural of the noun.)
These magical, amazing, with just the right percentage of work and play, weeks away. And, of course, now that I look at it from a bit of perspective, it’s easy to be smart about it.
Because every year, come (summer) holidays, I have this great big plan on what I’m going to achieve, all the projects I’m going to dive in, the things I’ll finally finish and about a bazillion other stuff I have/had on my to-do list that I didn’t get to do during the rest of the year.
And then—every damn year—I accomplish none of that.
That big macrame piece is still just an idea.
My natural dye project is still in the research phase.
And that online course? Yeah, let’s not even go there.
And worse of all? I feel bad about not accomplishing any of that.
And as I sit here, trying to soap up these last few days of my vacation, this is exactly what I struggle with—coming to terms with my un-productivity.
So next year, I’m taping this manifesto on the wall of our weekend house as an everyday reminder of a slower life. Or a kinder (to myself) life.
My 5-point summer/holiday manifesto:
1. I will rest.
With a long to-do list comes an obligation as well as that internal pressure (from none other than ourselves) to wake up early and get stuff done.
Well, screw that.
When was the last time you went to bed without an alarm clock and, when waking up at 7 am, turned around and got another 2 or dare-I-say 3 hours of sleep? I imagine that with having a kid this is probably an almost forgotten fairytale but if your current situation allows, can you remember?
I did it today. Sure, I don't have kids and I know you can never catch up with sleep or magically bottle up sleep for all those days and nights in the near future when the alarm clock will ring way too early without the option to ignore it (and not lose our jobs) but at least right now I'm as rested as I could be.
2. I will daydream.
Sometimes, all I need is the scent of Mediterranean plants and the hot sunshine to take me on an adventure. Not always to a different place (because if I'm honest, this place is pretty darn perfect) but to a different time, different me.
I stare at the olive threes and give my mind a complete break, let it wander wherever it might, let it dream of different realities, and come up with lives that aren’t mine (yet).
It’s a real “break” from the world that I think is necessary for new ideas and fresh perspectives to emerge—as long as we don’t put any pressure on it.
3. I will unplug.
One thing I wish I did more during this holiday is not to look at my phone.
I think I’m pretty good disconnecting but I do get sucked into the Instagram vortex from time to time. On one hand, I feel like it’s necessary to keep some kind of presence, business-wise, but on the other hand, I want to keep the magic of this place to myself.
It’s a balance we each have to find—only to lose it on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Trial and error, my friends.
4. I will soak in the “ordinary.”
The scent of rosemary, of lavender, of sage. The sound of the cicadas. The sun setting, creating the most beautiful colors possible. The wind slowly dying down as the afternoon turns into evening.
Just a few of the little things that I notice here. Probably because it’s not as familiar as it is at home but most likely because I actually take the time to notice it. To soak it in, to really feel it, before it’s gone until next time I’m here.
5. I will not feel bad if I do any (all!) of the above.
Now, this is the most important part. Rest, daydream, unplug, soak it all—but don’t feel bad about it. Don’t feel bad about not accomplishing everything that was on your to-do list.
For me, this is the hardest part of this whole manifesto, but I'll continue trying until, one day, I'll be completely present, without being in a rush, without guilt. Until I lose that balance and try again and again and again.
Dreamer, creator, lover, yogi.