My blog has been a bit quiet lately – but I have had a very good excuse! It’s been almost a year since I’ve had some proper leave from work; I’m not just talking of a day here or there – but rather about proper time for some quality r&r. So when stress and frustration levels reached boiling point a few weeks ago, I decided that this was a perfect time for a a break.
Last year we had the holiday of a lifetime – barging on the Canal du Midi in the south of France – but this year we have had to scale down a bit (you know, building up the reserves for next year!). So most of our time was spent at home, doing all the things that we always want to do, but just never have the time for. It was great to just sit back and relax – and take things in my stride. I’ve recently come to realise (or finally admitted it to myself!) that I don’t focus enough on the here and now. My mind is always off thinking about the past (something I should have, could have done or said) or otherwise thinking about the future (what I must do, I need to do, I must remember…). So with this time off I really concentrated on just enjoying the present. And I feel so much better for it!
The best part of our holiday though, was a short little weekend getaway. Located just outside Botrivier (a small town in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, South Africa), you will find the beautiful KolKol Mountain Lodge. It is truly a special place; unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
It has beautifully furnished log and stone cabins with breathtaking views over the valley. The attention to detail makes everything super special. Apart from its romantic setting, with an outdoor braai and indoor fireplace you could ask what more one would need on a romantic breakaway… but wait… there is more. How about wood fired hot tubs?! Oh yes! Imagine the air has a slight chill, but you are sitting comfortably on your wooden deck overlooking the stunning scenery, a glass of wine nearby… relaxing in a hot tub! Pure bliss!
Hubby and I spend two evenings there – way too short! But long enough to leave me feeling refreshed and energized. If you are looking for an amazing place to reflect and get perspective on life again, this is it. Don’t hesitate to visit! You have to experience it for yourself.
What I realised during this time is that I need to take better care of myself. I think for many of us just go on auto-pilot during our normal daily lives without even knowing that we do. During this little break I became aware how important it is to take time out, to make sure that I am OK. It’s like that saying that you can’t fill a cup that is already full… I realised I was full, but not necessarily with the good stuff.
So here are a few things I’ve decided to consciously focus on going forward to make sure that I am the best me I can possibly be – maybe there is something here that resonates with you as well:
1. Focus on the moment
Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. – Bill Keane
Cheesy, I know! But important. Else I will forever be spending my time worrying about something that happened, or that might happen – and I will miss out on all that is happening around me right now.
2. The work-life balance
Balance is not better time management but better boundary management. – Betsy Jacobson
I know there is no such thing as a perfect work-life balance. But you need to watch the scales. I realise that I have been giving so much time (willingly) to work that I suffered. So I need to focus on that balance a bit and prioritise some time for me. It is OK not to work late every night, right?!
3. Healthy body, healthy mind
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. – Buddha
Oh, this is the difficult one! I’ve never been naturally active, but last year I tried jogging and I really enjoyed it. It was amazing how it actually cleared my mind after a busy day. However, when winter came, I just could not bear to get out there so the winter was spent on the couch, under the blanket. I really did find that I missed it and with spring now approaching, I’m dusting off my running shoes and will be hitting the road again tomorrow. #fingerscrossed (And of course the healthy lunch is already packed for lunch tomorrow!)