Holidays, they carry such high expectations don't they?
We want them to be perfect and create these images in our heads of what they "should" look like. Staying in the finest villa/hotel/resort; finding the best restaurants to eat in; taking the perfectly curated holiday wardrobe, and of course, having the idyllic family time which WILL be argument and stress free! Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with striving for the best we can achieve with our hard earned money and precious time off; there is always some essential planning required of any holiday and, hands up, prior to boarding our flight to Majorca I was in Accessorize in Gatwick's south terminal heavily procrastinating over which bikini buy! And my inner perfectionist tendencies meant purchase of the "right" bikini remained a quandary several days into the holiday. I digress. What I've come and had to realise with life as it's thrown it's various large and small curve balls at me, is that keeping an open-mind, letting go of the "it should be like this" thoughts and making the best with what I've got achieves a far better outcome and actually often leaves me feeling happily surprised!
My case in point, our family week in Majorca. There was an awful lot riding on this holiday even before we got there. Would Dad be well enough for the trip? If he wasn't, who would still go? Who would stay behind to look after him? What would we do if he fell ill while we were away? A family holiday - nine of us in fact. Dad, me, P and our girls, my sister, her husband and my niece and nephew. How would that work? Would the children behave themselves? Would we agree on what to eat/where to go/what to do? The list of questions seemed endless and the prospect of the trip hugely daunting even before the suitcases had come down from the loft. And with dad's doctor really only giving us the green light for him to travel a week or so ahead of the holiday, I had little time to go into overdrive on holiday prep and could only focus on the essential elements of the week away. This was a good thing.
So with our only goal being to get through the week without any medical emergencies, some hastily packed suitcases and a plane journey later we arrived at Villa Oliveras, Pollensa and our holiday began. The result? A wonderful, precious week away, creating beautiful memories. There were no disappointments, no regrets, not even the handful of hiccups with the villa got us down. It was a happy mix where everyone slotted into their natural roles - me happy to cook, my sister happy to keep on top of domestics, my brother in law happy to go out and food shop and P "Uncle Philip" being the big kid that he is, more than happy to entertain the children. We all got time to unwind and relax, read books, soak up the sun and do exactly what we wanted. Exactly what holidays are all about. And Dad, most importantly, could sit, relax and enjoy time with us, his family.
As we relaxed into holiday mode those thoughts of "what if it all goes wrong?" dwindled and were replaced with "hey, this is all going right!". With that came feelings of gratefulness, fulfilment and enjoyment; and for that a holiday which was all in all pretty perfect.
Here are the best bits which made it so special....
Our beautiful villa
A fabulous pool - big enough for all the children and
their inflatables; for jumping fun; with a jacuzzi to sit in
enjoying a chilled glass of wine and a natter with your sister;
and nighttime swims - bliss!
A place for dad to relax; for pre-shower drinks and nibbles;
a dining table big enough for ping-pong; high-fives with
Uncle Philip; time for Jem and Stew to kick back and relax while
goody bags from Auntie Jo Jo's keep the children entertained!
Eating Ensaimadas for breakfast. Every. Single. Day.
Finding the prettiest square to enjoy coffee in; where the
only time is Island time.
Taking the opportunity of babysitters and going out for dinner
in Puerto Pollensa overlooking a moonlit sea; taking an
after-dinner stroll along The Pine Walk and discovering your
Spending time with those you love xxx
And as I glare at the grey skies and pouring rain outside on a miserable September Saturday afternoon, all I can think is, Majorca, take me back!