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I recently returned from a lovely week’s holiday in Brittany, France. It was a family holiday, so had the usual competing needs and agendas. I’ve had a few weeks to reflect on the experience, and on holidays in general.

What is a holiday? I came across this definition online: “An extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling.” Seems to fit my general view quite well. Except…

Have you noticed that when you go away somewhere, especially somewhere new, and you are on holiday, there’s a need to pack as much into each day as possible? To experience it all. Because to return home having missed something out would be terrible, wouldn’t it?

I guess it depends on your personal definition of Leisure or Recreation. I know that mine includes putting your feet up on the sofa with a good book, or having a drink at lunchtime followed by an afternoon nap. As these are things that I wouldn’t normally do and I feel these are part of the Leisure and Recreation suite of activities.

Too often though, I find that after a week or so of running around and trying to cram it all in, my body and mind shout ‘HALT’ at me, and I relax into the holiday, enjoying reading and siestas, lounging around pools etc etc etc. 

So what is it that drives this fear of missing out? If I haven’t seen everything this location has to offer, then I’ll have wasted my holiday….. Really? 

And if you tell yourself that on holiday, do you also tell yourself that when you are not on holiday? 

One of my recent Notes from The Universe was very insightful on this topic: “For the record, Meriel, you’ve not missed anything, you don’t even know what down-time is, and every single second of your life so far – resting, playing, distracted or not – has been profoundly creative. We’re on a roll, The Universe.”

Banish guilt because there’s something you didn’t fit in. You chose not to fit it in for a good reason, there was something else which was more attractive, and possibly more reflective. I like the idea of every moment of my life being purposeful. What about you?

My cat sleeps a lot, or she ‘recreates’ a lot. She doesn’t look like she’s missing out, does she?  Millie