Happy Holidays – mine starts today

YAY!!  Today is the first day of my Holidays.  No work for three weeks – well no paid work anyway.  Started my day with a holiday style breakfast – pan-fried Raisin Toast and a mug of Coffee.  Pan-Fried toast??? I hear you ask….yes Pan-fried raisin toast.   See I am on holiday…the toaster was in the cupboard and the fry pan was conveniently located on the stove-top…so holiday me took the easy option.  Holiday me also loves the taste of fried butter…or anything fried in butter… and the easiest way to fry toast is to spread the butter on the bread then drop it butter side down into the hot pan sZszZSzzzZsszsSSz.  Once brown you have the options of buttering the other side & repeat frying  or dry fry the other side…or leave it soft.  Done.

Pan Fried Raisin toast
Pan Fried Raisin toast

Breakfast on day one of holidays is always a planning time for me, thus the pen & paper.  I always have so many things that I aim to do in my holidays that I need some sort of structure or schedule and then I can relax.  I can enjoy my break, do the things I needed to and return to work refreshed and reorganised.   This plan is idealistic, subject to change and requires flexibility to cope with the fluctuations in the weather or surprise events.  Last holiday my family imported my son as a holiday surprise for me – this delightful surprise totally derailed my good planning but increased my holiday joy 100-fold.

This holiday will take the same planning format as all others….starting with a list…. and ending with a schedule.   On the list there several columns for stuff around the house – cleaning, filing, sorting; stuff for me – exercise, professional development, pedicure;  us time – perhaps Rob & I can get away for a night or two, maybe a drive in the country with the roof down, a movie;  recipes I want to try – its Christmas so there are always variations on traditional themes to have a go at; my current craft project – a Dr Who scarf for my son; and of course family time and get togethers.

So as I sit and think through the list my mind wanders off and I realise how lucky I am to have this time and this space to reflect and plan, I am grateful for all I have by way of health, wealth, family and opportunity.  Yet in the midst of all the warm fuzzy luckiness I also have a huge sense of responsibility….and my mind snaps back to the planning.

Christmas holidays have always been about Family getting together camping, or a road trip, or at my place, or an my grandparents, with my husbands family or at another family members…and this year is no different.  This year we will enjoy each others company at a series of  get togethers – varying in size and complexity over three locations.  When family come together there will always be food.  A big part of my holiday list will centre around the logistics and planning for those few days.  Although the planning for this has been on the go for some time now it really – this morning it dawned on me that this is a really complex holiday time that spans families, towns, states and even countries.

As a hospitality professional, it has always been my key focus to ensure that the needs of the guests are met and their expectations are exceeded – this flows over into family events also.  Dietary requirements, transportation,  food safety, oven space, enough chilled beverages, music, gifts, seating, theme items, cutlery & crockery…..the list is endless.  More and more and more….. but there is a human element that must also be considered.  We are a big, blended, spread out family and whilst it is not possible to please all of the people all of the time I am concious to ask others and involve them in the planning.

We all need to feel considered and valued for our opinion, needs and contributions not just at Christmas, not just at work but everyday –  in so many ways our fragile selves need to live a life that has meaning & purpose.  In my planing  of the holiday events I have given much thought to this.  I also plan so that I can relax – or at least not totally panic. I delegate. I communicate. I over prepare. I don’t do spontaneous-although I would love to be able to. I schedule and I list.

So back to my planning….. there is a huge list of what I need to do, should do, could do or even think I must do…….and when it is done and they are all happy what am I going to do for ME when I am on Holiday?

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