the Clayton's holiday
Today is the last day of my official 'holiday'. I took a Clayton's holiday through July. I believe the term "Clayton" might be peculiar to Australia. It refers to a non-alcoholic drink that was once heavily marketed, mainly in the 1970s, and the word became synonymous with anything that was a pretend or poor substitute for the real thing. I really have to stop planning real holidays as three of my last four planned sojourns have fallen foul of the "best laid plans go to waste" cliche.
Week 1 - I finally succumbed and embraced the depression fog that had been floating towards me since early June. Even the wonderful company of great friends on the first couple of days of my break could not save me from losing myself in the guagmire of self-pity knowing what I had to look forward to was not what I originally planned. A very long uber-drive later, I had set myself new goals for my break. Amazing what hopping into the car in the middle of the night will do for focus. In the cocoon of surrounding blackness, perspective takes on a whole new meaning. A scene a day of book number three is the primary new goal. Extra sessions with the personal trainer to spark the brain with endorphins for creativity is the secondary new goal. Will couple that with some serious spring cleaning around the house. Continuing to worry about sick relatives remains an unavoidable goal.
Week 2 - Feeling better already. Successfully achieved milestones for all of my goals by the end of the first week. Finding a whole new level of creativity with scene after scene written, some so powerful I am saying "wow" myself at the quality of the content. Some serious clutter cleared away at home too and a landscaper has finally found a new home for the stunted magnolia trees formerly from my front garden. Taking their place, something more compact Zen for the space. Four hours of decadent spa pampering before finishing the second week with another uber-drive enjoying music of years past refreshing memories long forgotten.
Week 3 - So far my writing goal remains broadly on track even if I spent a substantial amount of time distracted by preparing a degustation feast for my besties, the Action Flick crew. Cooking is my other Zen activity. I'm so relaxed now, I might melt away. By mid week 3, I also briefly contemplated getting back on the dating horse after a year's absence, pondering whether to take a gentle ride, test if I felt ready. The long break has been for good reason, I simply got exhausted either being a free therapist for men carrying so much baggage it was surprising their backs did not break from the heavy lifting or being a convenient body for casual play. Thought it was less hassle being alone though a little lonely at times than not alone but disconnected all the time. Real intimacy takes time to evolve and I remain at a loss as to why I cannot seem to find it.
Week 4 - "sometimes lost is where you need to be. Just because you do not know where you are does not mean you have no direction." The time passed by too quickly. Though I managed to purge my home, body and mind of some of the clutter which was weighing me down. And the steady flow of creative writing that has filled my days, has filled me with some contentment of a passion pursued. I feel refreshed though already thinking I need another break. Hard haul ahead of me in the lead up to the end of the year.
ps1 - next time, I am going to tell no one that I intend to travel, then just hop randomly on a plane with as little notice as I can get away with. Stand by rates are great value and probably would cost me less than what lost deposits and administration costs of changed flights have cost me.
ps2 - my week three momentary lapse of reason regarding reconsidering dating was laid to rest after a short online chat with a scottish bastard. Seems the long break will need to be a little longer.