Holidays and Happy Things

I’m back. You may not even have noticed I was gone, such is the nature of a blog site. Unless you have set days to post, which I don’t, people don’t tend to pay too much attention to how frequently you post a blog. But I digress. You may be wondering, now that you are aware that I was gone, where I went. Well, you see, I took a holiday. The first real holiday I have ever had and, after the last six months especially, extremely well deserved. I went, for eight glorious, peace filled days, to Tasmania. And I have to say, I have rather fallen in love.

You may have read, prior to this post, that I was not doing ok. The inside of my head had become an increasingly dark space, and I was sinking deeper and deeper into a chasm of black that I wasn’t prepared – or capable enough – to drag myself up from. Had I not have taken this holiday, I think I would still be there, in that darkest of places that perhaps only some of you have ever been. But away I went, and from the moment I walked away from my shop at 4:30 pm (a blissful half hour earlier than usual), I felt a literal lightening in my chest, the heavy weight that had settled there easing more with every step further away from work that I took. By the time I boarded the ferry, I was positively giddy.

Now, the ferry itself was not particularly pleasant, simply because a recliner is not really all that conducive to a good night’s sleep, especially when the one next to you is occupied by a male stranger with terrible breath. However, sleepless nights are not entirely new to me and so I made it through the 11 hour trip by staring out the window at the night darkened water, reading in the dim light, and listening to my ipod. When I disembarked upon arrival, something in my soul just started to…sing. Sounds New Age-y, I know. But it was as if I had come home. Now of course, a significant factor in my contentment has to do with the fact that I was away from work, and from the city that I have come to despise. But still, despite never having been to Tasmania before, I was positively overwhelmed a sense that this was where I belonged.

I didn’t take this trip with any real plan in mind, and as such most of what I did came from split second decisions, and very limited research. But it was utterly spectacular. I did the Tahune Airwalk, took a guided tour through the Hastings Caves, drove to the top of Mt Wellington, explored the incredible history steeped grounds at Port Arthur and took a 3.5 hour drive, just so I could wander down the pristine white sands at the stunning Bay of Fires. I ambled through MONA, went to see Logan (review to come), and spent the day with a couple of friends, wandering the Salamanca Market, drinking cider at the Cascade Brewery, and playing with their adorable puppy. I drove all over the place, saw some of the most beautiful sights, ate so much awesome food. And for those entire eight days, I wasn’t angry, or unhappy once. My default emotion was completely absent, even when a driver nearly collided with my car after failing to give way at a roundabout. And see, that was the thing. It wasn’t just the things I did, and the places  saw that had me feeling so cheerful. It was everything. The air was clearer, the people seemed nicer, even the water tasted better. It would appear that I have found the place where I could see myself living, long term.

I returned on the ferry yesterday, drove home (not the city) to visit one of my favourite people, and then when I arrived back to the house I live in, I cleaned and tidied, and murdered the ants that had set up shop in my bed. I could feel the discontent start to simmer beneath the surface of my skin, could feel the blissful calm of the previous week start to slowly dissipate. I dreaded coming to work this morning. But I am determined to make it through this next month as positively as I can. You see, as of today, I have exactly one month left at this dingy little shop. My boss informed me before I took my holiday that they have taken on another shop, and I will be running that instead. One more month, and then no more city. I mean, I’ll still technically be living in the “city”, but I won’t actually be working in the actual city. Which is going to do wonders for my mental state. And with the move of shop, comes the prospect of once again living on my own; a marvellously wonderful possibility. It would appear that good things are coming my way.

Evidently all I needed to improve my dark state of mind was to go away for a while, clear my head and create (which I am happy to report that I did, a little). So here’s to better things, to a happier head, and to Tasmania. I will be back for you, one day.

Living For Today (Don’t Mind the Cliche)

You know how when a new year starts, people go on these crazy resolution sprees, talking about all the things they really like the idea of but know they won’t follow through on? Well, I don’t do those. I think New Years resolutions are negative, rather than positive, because when you get to the end of the year and have done none of the things you promised yourself you would do, you feel disappointed and unfulfilled. And then you go and do it again for the following year, and the next, and the next, and so it goes.

I know myself. I know that saying I’m going to do twenty five thousand things in the coming year is going to be a lie. I’m lazy, and often unmotivated. I make plans and then let them go by without bothering to actually do the things I was planning to do. I have this tendency to plan too far in the future, and then regret it later and never do anything. It’s like when you say you’ll go to a party a week before it happens, and then the hour before, when you’re sitting on your couch in nothing but panties and a tee, you realise that you actually can’t be bothered moving. That’s pretty much the story of my entire life.

So instead of making ridiculous, unattainable goals, I kind of had an epiphany recently; take each day as it comes. It’s really that simple. I know I am by no means the first person to have ever come to this realisation, but I’m feeling pretty good about the fact that I came to it. You see, I have this tendency to worry about things too far in the future. It results in stress, lack of sleep, and one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. If I don’t do a billion things in a day, I feel like I’ve been unproductive. It’s really quite an unhealthy habit.

But I’ve come to learn that it doesn’t matter. It’s good to have goals, absolutely. I want to write books for a living. But it is also good to know that some things take time. So instead of telling myself at the start of every day that I’ll eat healthy things and go for a walk, instead of promising myself I’ll watch ten episodes of a new show when I’ll really end up watching Supernatural reruns, instead of being angry at myself for not having published thirty books already, I am going to just…chill. I’ll take a leaf out of my almost preternaturally relaxed brother’s book, and just go with the flow. So I ate shitty junk food for dinner, whatever. So I only only wrote 300 words of my work-in-progress instead of 3000, that’s ok. It’s still something, after all. And there is always tomorrow.

So here’s what I’m going to do. If I have the urge to play my guitar, I’ll play it. If I really feel like going for a long walk, I’ll go on one. And if I’m not in the mood for things, if I know that forcing myself to do them will be counter productive and make me cranky, I’m just not going to do them. Sure, the future is tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes, I’ll tackle it with gusto, or nonchalance, or whatever feels better at the time. But for now, it is today, and today is good.