Can you really do it?
Last Tuesday I was on holidays and suddenly had one of those …
… moments of clarity.
My husband, 5-year-old, 2-year-old and I were with my parents in Collingwood, Ontario (yup, this time last week: out-of-town, on holiday, pure vacay. SIGH).
We had joined my parents, who are fractional owners of a timeshare in Collingwood right on the Georgian Bay and near a golf course, for a week of family fun and relaxation.
Here’s my photo upon realizing the moment.
We were about four days into the holiday at this stage.
It was the moment I relaxed.
Shoulders down. Sun on back. Quiet. Content.
It was also the moment I realized how much I struggle with the entire notion of simply relaxing.
Doing nothing has become not only strange, but bad in my mind.
Productivity means success!
I need to be doing something!
Even if I’m “relaxing” I somehow feel the need to maximize that time. Because it’s ticking down. And so very fleeting. So make it count!
We’d arrived at the resort after a seven-hour drive with pee stops at every Tim Horton’s along the way for the 5-year-old (aside: I should do a coffee table book about public washrooms of Ontario. I think it would resonate with parents of preschoolers. Opinions?) and were bombarded with flyers and instructions and pamphlets for things to do.
With renewed enthusiasm after the ride, I leafed through them all considering zoo visits, toy shops, mini putt, family zumba, and boat tours trying to figure out how to maximize the fun awesome TOGETHERNESS that was going to be OUR FAMILY HOLIDAY and ….
I took an after breakfast walk by the marina with my parents and daughters while my husband golfed.
My youngest focussed on finding the perfect daisy.
My eldest went ahead with grandpa and wanted to watch him skip rocks.
I collected the bouquet from my youngest and decided none of us needed a zoo.
This was pretty much all that was required for family fun at this stage.
So how did we spend our week?
We swam twice a day in the indoor pool, complete with water slide (open at 4:00) that my eldest adored. During this time my two-year-old figured out she loved swimming on her own in a life jacket and much of the time was spent either in the hot tub as a family, waiting at the end of the water slide for the eldest, or pretending to be Ariel’s mother in an intricate underwater role play orchestrated by my 5-year-old.
As an aside, for those who missed last month’s “If Disney Princesses Actually Had Mothers” piece that was all the rage on the Internet, I was playing Athena – Ariel’s very much bucking Disney trend and NOT DEAD mother, as was pointed out from time to time in various commentary.
We played on the play structure. We walked by the water. We rode a pontoon boat. We went to Wasaga Beach for the morning. We visited a candy store and walked around the Blue Mountain Resort.
I made it through two books. One of which was Lionel Shriver’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” which, despite my husband ruining it for me 40 pages in (he’d seen the movie) still was amazing, but creepy and made me hug my kids closer after each read.
We went to bed early and slept in.
And given the many breaks in the suite, can you guess the theme song of our holiday?
It’s funny how the TreeHouse theme song now almost soothes me rather than grates. Ahh! They will watch. I will read. We will all be calm.
Aside from that?
My parents watched the girls while my husband and I had a relaxed and wonderful meal out at Catch 22 in Wasaga Beach.
I pondered infusing olive oils.
I bought two comfortable sundresses.
I drank excellent Armagnac.
I relaxed like I haven’t in ages.
It was awesome.
I’ve noticed a number of fellow bloggers posting SUMMER OF AWESOME bucket lists.
I’d fully meant to do one too. Because there is much I know we’d enjoy.
But after this?
I think, reading notwithstanding, that at 5 and 2 we’re just not really there yet as far as the “chugging through check lists of fun” goes.
So we’re just going to let it roll for one more summer.
Because my Summer of Awesome?
Involves a lot of doing not much together*.
In fact? I’m going to make that the first item on our to do list.
I think we all deserve a well deserved break after that accomplishment.
What about you? Big plans this summer? Or are you putting your feet up and letting the kids drink slushies and watch movies on the couch until they pass out (not that I do that)?
*I TOTALLY reserve the right to do a retrospective bucket list of stuff we did manage to get of our butts and actually do!
Photo credit: Beach umbrella, ring and ball courtesy of Iamnee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. The sun is a free image and the headless dolly belongs to my daughter.
We must have and make this time. What great memories for all of you.
Thanks – it was a great week.
I’m totally getting on board with this policy. This is the first summer that being lazy has been more of a focus than getting out. I do find on days when we spend all day in our PJs watching TV, everyone is cranky and at each others’ throats at the end of the day, so getting out somewhere, even for a walk around block, helps. But in general this year “awesome” means something much more casual. Glad to hear your summer is going great!
Very much agreed on not just spending all day in our PJs watching TV – because, yes, we too go a little stir crazy then. But activities don’t have to be huge. Today my husband had them run under the sprinkler in the back yard in the morning and in the afternoon we went to our gym’s outdoor pool. Done. I managed to get a good couple hours napping and with a book before then – so I was pretty happy.
Hope your summer is going well too.
Eli Pacheco said:
How’s this for ironic: I tried just now to take a nap but couldn’t because I kept thinking of stuff I needed to do, including catch up on blogs (I have work, too, but I want to do this fun stuff first!)
The girls are much better than me at relaxing. Unless we all go fishing.
My mind does that too when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with the to do lists. Hopefully you found a way to unwind a bit (or got through enough that you felt you could relax!)
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Sarah Brentyn said:
Glad you got to relax. Sounds dreamy. And, just for the record, I really hope you write that coffee table book. 😀
I did – thanks! Following week was a bit chaotic, but it was worth it!
As for the book idea, I might just give this more thought… I’d have to consider how to not just have it be a book featuring identical Timmy’s bathroom after identical Timmy’s bathroom… Although maybe in that would lie its brilliance!
Brenda Davis Harsham said:
We just spent two days cramming in all the holidaying I would have done in a week as a kid. But I put up today’s post from one of the places we went — Lost River Gorge. Ahh, as I remember it. As usual, your post made me resonate and recognize my own failings. 😀
I can’t believe I missed this comment until now! My email has gotten a wee bit away from me … I don’t know about wanting to make people recognize their failings 😦 But I certainly “get” the idea of trying to cram as much as possible into short periods of time – I keep waiting for my expectation of what I can do when I take my kids downtown for Canada Day (we live in the Capital) to match with reality. That said – glad you got a gem from your trip – and that it was as remembered. Excellent that the memory and reality matched 🙂
Brenda Davis Harsham said:
We hiked a lot. NH is gorgeous!
I should hike more. In the plans when the kiddos are a bit older… 😉 Glad you had a good trip!
Brenda Davis Harsham said:
Yes, my youngest is 6, and she can walk miles now. Three or four is when we start taking the kids on three mile hikes and plan for them to walk. We give them rides if they need breaks. Pretty soon, they don’t need rides any more.
Ah, I long for those moments (gorgeous photo, by the way). Having said that, I tend to get busy easily 🙂 It takes time to drop into that state of being-ness. It’s worth it, it just takes time (time I don’t have) to get there…. Wonderful post, thank you Louise.
I also get busy way too easily – which is why this week was so great. Thanks for the comment and reminder. And for the kind comments on the photo (I was pretty thrilled with it!)
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