Discussing topical issues for women in cross-cultural and inter-continental relationships

On learning how holidays can reveal oneself.

So I am almost at the end of 4 weeks holidays in which I went nowhere in particular.  Where I live many people abscond to far-off places at the hint of time off.  I spent the 6 week break in December/January in Ghana rushing up and down the country so for this holiday I opted to stay put.

I had upcycling to do, books to read, hours of opportunity to have some desperately needed time-to-myself.  Its been about 8 months since I had even an hour at home by myself.  It’s rarer to me than diamonds or platinum.

Week 1 – upcycling dining room chairs and tables. Daughter mostly at home, as well as husband.  Creative time but not by myself.  Felt good though as I got into the swing of going-through-my-list.  Finished one book and started another <- also a feat because since I gave birth four and a half years ago I have read about 2 books that I’ve read for personal enjoyment.

Week 2 – Husband back at work. Can’t remember. Oh that’s right. Did our tax returns because the account worked out to get me back one-fourteenth of what I was eligible for.

Week 3 – Created a website for my husband’s and my business. Cooked with my daughter for the town’s annual show.  Spent two days at the show.

Week 4 – Ran back and forth from the Post Office collecting parcels, continued to work on website, coffee shop a few times, went into work one time to prepare for my return and then sat on the couch a few times and just thought.

My first two weeks were happy enough.  I didn’t feel like I was on holidays per see, nor free to choose what I wanted to do, but I got things done and remembered to start slowing down.  My third week was spent a little frustrated at times getting used to and remembering that this was MY time and not time to do business stuff or run around at the behest of those little tasks that can take up a day.  I won’t get another opportunity for time to myself till mid-December so I really had to make use of this time now.  Week 4 I have spent sometimes a little bored and lonely.  I have missed my dear sister, Eve (see previous posts about Zimbabweans in town) terribly.  I don’t have a sister I can sit down and have a cup of tea with anymore.  I have some pleasant aquaintances whom I catch up with every few weeks but none who know all my sides and who I can be free with regarding all topics and all things.  When I am busy it doesn’t matter but this week I wasn’t and it did a little.

So what has been revealed to me is this: –

1.I have also contemplated my marriage and how it is what it is and we are okay.When I am busy and stressed because I am mum, wife, business partner, full-time teacher, part-time student, friend and less-than-part-time Asanempoka, sometimes things look and feel like they don’t fit.  These holidays I’ve learnt that when things are slower what bugs me when I am stressed no longer does.  I need to remember that throughout the next two terms.

2. I learnt that whilst I may whinge about having to do websites and other typed work for our business… I actually enjoy it and if I didn’t… well, then I wouldn’t do it, would I. I wouldn’t offer.  I’ve learnt to spend a minimum time doing it so it is effective but not all-consuming.  That is determined by me.

3. Sometimes I like sitting and not having anything to think about ‘what-I-feel-I-should-be-thinking-about-or-doing-or-neglecting-though-I-am-really-not’.  It’s a pleasant change and it reminded me of why I like life in Ghana… Bolgatanga really. But here I miss the family being around and the milling of people whilst you contemplate life, the universe and everything under the tree.

4. I really want our son to come and be with us so very soon.  Our family is not complete until he arrives.  All the paperwork is in and now we wait (see previous post on my sister-by-default in Ghana).

Nothing mind-blowing or earth shattering but enough to think about and remember as I head into ‘work-mode’ again and into the potential stress-pit.  I’ll try to look back on my ‘down-time’, value it and place it in small quantities throughout my next 5 months of work.  It’s so easy to forget.  I’ll let you know how I go.

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