As Madonna once sang “Just one day out of life, it would be, it would be so nice”. I used to really love this song (yes I am old enough to remember it, but not quite old enough to remember it being released!) and what its all about. It celebrates taking time out, getting away from it all and forgetting all the bad times. Now, in my post Madonna and crimped hair years, I just can’t get as excited about getting away as I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I still like having a break and time off – who doesn’t. It’s just nowadays, going away somewhere to escape is a lot more challenging and has a lot of hidden surprises to it.
I’ve been away to some amazing places in my lifetime and had some amazing adventures. I went to Australia during my final year at uni (still not sure how I got away with that and still came away with a 2:1) for a friends wedding, a bit of exploring and to have a Christmas in the sunshine with my Grandparents, uncle, auntie and cousins (who are no longer the little boys they were back then!). I’ve had girly holidays in the Dominican Republic, Kos, Barcelona and numerous places across the UK. I took up skiing in my late 20’s and have skied in Canada, Italy, France and Switzerland (only for 1km but it still counts!). My last big adventure was travelling in Thailand for a couple weeks visiting Chiang Mai in the north and island hopping in the south. I loved and enjoyed all of these trips and I’m so glad that I did and that I made the most of the time I had whilst I was healthy.
Nowadays, I struggle to visit my parents for a few days, let alone get myself to the top of a red run to ski down. They live around 3 hours by car away from me. This drive never used to be an issue and I used to quite enjoy it. I could pop the radio on, sing my little heart out to whatever cheesy music was playing and just drive. My head and thoughts could disappear into my own little world – whilst paying attention to the road of course.
Thanks to my ME I can’t drive myself down there now. My mum or dad (sometimes both) will come and pick me up. They’ll do the drive to mine, stay the night (might do a bit of gardening whilst they’re here) and then we hit the road together. Obviously, I don’t sing along to the cheesy music on the radio anymore as that’s strictly for my ears only! But we’ll chat away; stop for lunch somewhere nice and get to their house in the afternoon for the usual hyper welcome from the dogs!
To some of you reading this, you’re probably thinking how great this is and that it must help, meaning I won’t suffer for the journey. I’m beyond grateful for my folks doing this for me and the way in which they understand that I still need to recover after the trip. I usually head to my bed early and then sleep in the next day. It’s never a busy time when I’m at my parents house. All I typically do is play with the dogs, take some photos and generally just chill out – its great and even better when the sun it out! It’s like a little retreat for me and a perfect spot to hide away from the rest of the world in.
The only problem is, I know that I have to come home again and the return journey is going to take it out of me. I plan as much as I can for this. I make sure I get back with a few days spare before I have to do anything like go to work. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t always help as I found out recently.
After a great week just chilling out, really not doing a lot at all at my parents house, I got home with about 5 days to go before getting back to work. I made it in for my first day back, caught up with my colleagues, but then didn’t make the rest of the week. I was wiped out. I have no idea why. It was so frustrating and yes, I did start to wonder if going away is something that I should be doing at all.
In the last year, I can really only think of 1 time that I’ve stayed overnight somewhere that wasn’t my house or my parents. I’m 39! I really should be able to do more than that, but no. My ME likes to play up and stop me; trying to ruin things. For example, last September I went to Spain for 2 weeks with my parents. We had a nice villa in the hills. It was so quiet and picturesque. It took all my energy to get there and back – I had to sleep for about 18 hours after the travelling (each way). The first few days there, I wasn’t really myself and struggled, but then I got a bit perkier as I was determined that my ME wouldn’t ruin the whole holiday. It was great to chill but I felt bad that I wasn’t able to enjoy the holiday as much as I could. My folks were great though and just left me to it, not forcing me to do anything. After the holiday, when I was back home, I had to rest and recuperate. From a holiday! I had to rest after a holiday! That’s not normal when all you’ve done for 2 weeks is sleep and sit by a pool! But that’s my normal now.
I’ll be honest, I do almost dread the thought of going away now. I worry about how fit I’ll be after the journey; will I be on good form or will it be ruined by a flare up. I don’t battle these thoughts anymore, I now just accept I have them and need to attend to them. I know I need to plan the journey as best I can so I’m not completely wiped out. But more than that, I know that I surround myself with really good people, who understand that I might need to take a time out every now and then.
Instead of feeling the need to go away (although I do still like the excitement of a wee trip), I like to invite people to stay with me. Just recently I had friends staying for the weekend and we had an absolute blast. A day out on the Saturday (which I managed to cope with) and a chilled Sunday. It was great and lovely to be part of it. I know people worry about staying with me as beds need to be made and cleaning to be done. But I love it. The beds get made and changed when I’m up to it so its no stress and the cleaning, well I try to keep on top of it as much as I can everyday anyway.
So whilst I can’t quite escape and get a day out of life like I used to, I can still get away – I just need to be more canny about it. And where possible, I’ll have people come on over to my place!