Friday, 15 July 2016

A break from routine

When I was a teenager, I don't think I really got the luxury of my parents having an apartment in Spain. I was always up early, asking what are we were doing today? rushing my Mum off the balcony while she's trying to read, to forcing her to get ready so we could finally go out. Always asking, what are we doing next?
I never used to understand why you would want to keep going back to the same place over and over again. It seemed like such a waste of time. I was bored. I'd done everything before. I just didn't get it.
I started my first job out of uni when I was 22, and that summer, I got it. That shift from university life (and for me, a summer of working abroad and travelling) to 9 til 5 is hard. And I finally, finally got it. I understood why we weren't rushing to go out every day at 9am. I understood relaxing breakfasts on the balcony. I understood stopping for a drink in the middle of a long walk, not just rushing to the end. I understood taking time to read and relax and take a break from every day life.
These days, I crave our yearly trips to Spain. I crave boiled eggs and toast and the freshest tomatoes I've ever tasted that we eat every morning we're away. My mouth waters at the thought of the tapas bar we always stop at and the free sample paella they always bring. I long for the long walks with the sun beating down and the breaks for Fanta orange at the same bars. I love that familiarity. I love doing the same things every time we go. It's like a homesickness, and every time I can't wait to be back. Going back every year means it doesn't matter if we don't get around to doing "everything", there will always be a next time. I love having a few days away where for once I don't have lists and responsibilities and that sinking heart feeling of "what have I forgotten". I love having a few days where I'm not aware of my anxiety. Where I'm not always wondering "what are we doing next?", when I don't even care. For someone who lives for routine, it takes a lot for me to not have one. But when we're in Spain I just let go. Try to live in the moment. Try to live from one minute to the next. Try not to be always rushing through everything. Try not to worry about "wasting time."
What's been even better the last few times is taking Phil. Showing him our favourite places, telling him our little jokes. This last trip was our third time together and everything is familiar to him now too. Every time is similar, but each time is different. "Was that last year, or the year before?". We have our own memories together there now.
It's our home away from home, which I think is the point. This trip was only 5 days so it felt short but just enough of a taste so that we've got a list ready of all the things we can't wait to do next time. Which is only ever a few months away...

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