Now that the holiday season is at an end, for the beginning of this year anyways, I can’t help but reflect on my journey throughout this season. I am also curious of how the holidays have been for you. As a family we have travelled a lot this holiday season and traditionally for us the packing has been a ‘job to get done’. This is the part of our holidays I despised. The getting ready and going part. I despised it so much that I would talk myself out of wanting to go on holiday so that I didn’t have to do the getting ready and travelling part of the holiday – crazy right? Well, my husband thought so ?. He and I would always end up arguing on the day we were getting ready because one wasn’t helping the other enough, or one wasn’t going fast enough, or….. the list was endless – all because we were fraught with this ‘getting it done’ attitude.

So, I decided I actually wanted to enjoy the holidays this season. But how do I do that I thought to myself? What was stopping me from enjoying this part of the holiday was all the prep I thought I HAD to DO. Clean the house, bake, create lovely meals so it was easy to eat when we got to where we were going, get up to date with work, do the shopping, pack the bags, etc…. and this was just to go away for a couple of days! Arggghhh – no wonder I dreaded it. So, I decided to lower my expectations a bit. This became my hit list to go away with and in this order:

  • Do absolutely essential work stuff and take laptop with me (If I feel inspired while I’m away and there is space then I would harness it – the joys of not having any set time each week to work on a business ?)
  • Get the food items etc from the supermarket/fruit and veg shop/etc that we need for the trip and for the first day or two back home and pack those things we need to take
  • Pack the kids clothes, my clothes, and toiletries
  • Hang out clean washing to dry
  • Do baking if I have the space and WANT to
  • Quickly run the vacuum over the floor if there is spare time

Reframing my ‘to do’ list was the best thing I did these holidays, and it all came about with me questioning my actual reason for going away on holiday. I didn’t go away on holiday so I could come home to a clean house, have food prepared for me while I was away, eat delicious homemade baking, feel accomplished with my work…. No – it was so that I could enjoy uninterrupted time with my family.  

So, this reason – enjoying uninterrupted time with my family – actually changed the way I prepared for going away. Instead of saying to the kids let me do it, or would you like to play with this while I get us packed – I invited them to do it with me. Even if it did take longer, who cares, in that moment, I was getting uninterrupted time with my family – I was already on holiday! Woaaahhhh! I had a great time watching them pack their own bags, helping pack the food – seeing what was important to them that we bring, having them help with the baking (which usually meant we needed to vacuum BUT then they helped with and enjoyed that too) etc…. it became a special time.

And what a difference! I enjoyed myself and so did the kids! There was no more – ‘Are we there yet?’, ‘Can we go now?’ etc… We were already there – we were already on holiday. My husband still ‘got it done’ in the background, but the girls and I could leave him to it and not get into that space. It was empowering and life changing… and I endeavour to keep this attitude with holidays in the future.

Questions for self-reflection:

Where do you have a ‘get it done’ attitude?

What effect does this have on you and those around you?

How can you bring more fun and enjoyment to ‘getting it done’?