I’m off on something that resembles a holiday. I feel elated and enthusiastic, but this time around my list in preparation has grown to resemble three weeks-worth of groceries. Did I pack the night light, have I got the portable DVD charger, where are the swimmer nappies, and what about the kilo of wipes we now can’t seem to live without – in fact, how did I ever live without them before now? Excuse the semblance of disappointment – there is none – I just marvel at the shift in our planning, and the sheer growth of our luggage when we embark on each new adventure.
I remember a time where I would book a spontaneous weekend away in my Friday lunch break, entertain self-indulgent ‘wind-down’ time that evening, and only contemplate the requirements of my jaunt the following morning. If clothes were scrunched and ‘hap-hazardly’ stuffed next to a bottle of French champagne in my worn out duffel I would feel equipped; not anxious at the lack of orthodox or system. Again, I don’t lament – I remember these life clips fondly and move on with gratitude, life experience, and perhaps a touch of OCD…
Dipping nostalgically back to the delights of whimsy and fancy-free breakaways, I can’t help but ask myself if I truly enjoyed them more than these excitement-fuelled family excursions. Would I ever have marvelled for such time at the wildlife if they hadn’t gifted my son with such enjoyment and wonder? Could I have indulged in an ocean swim and felt as revitalised if not for the laughter and smiles escaping the mass of ‘floaties’ beside me? I start to revel in the fact that these new memories are adding flavour to the old; teaching me that value will continue to reside in the hearts and company of those most precious to you. What good are the moments of peace and joy without the challenging flickers in which to compare them? Each new adventure is a puzzle piece that will ultimately contribute to the trip of a life time – never stop enjoying the lesson and opportunity each has to offer.
“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life”…The Buddha (c. 563-c. 483BCE), India.
Moral of the story? What’s a few extra bags if luggage is life?
Photograph: Sue Ilich