By Lorene Belotti, Guest Blogger
“La la la, home, let me come home!” The Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros song is my summer vacation song this year. I’m whistling this tune all day long while I’m enjoying my three weeks of time off by doing: NOTHING. This is so good.
Taking advantage of my free time at home this week, I’m focusing on having quality time with my loved ones and myself. I read, talk to my friends without being rushed by our respective schedule and do as many unproductive things as I can. I’m very careful not to give myself a “TO DO” list. Duty is prohibited. Let’s be honest, it’s kind of hard but I can already feel how beneficial this is for me.
At this precious time, I’ve been thinking about the advantages of holidays, what they bring to us and what they’re teaching me right now. I guess there are huge benefits in both leaving home to discover new places and new people as well as being able to break off from our routine to stay at home and really take time for ourselves.
Last week was my first week of holidays. I went to the South of France to my dear friend’s place. During my stay, I didn’t check my emails even once; I left my phone at the bottom of my bag (I admit, it’s no big deal as I’ve always been super vigilant to not becoming addicted to my cellphone and I’m kind of proud of that) and simply enjoyed spending quality time with my friend. I cut myself off my usual life and it worked more than I imagined. As soon as she picked me up at the airport I forgot all my usual thoughts and all my worries.
I observed that changing my environment clearly had a positive effect. Of course, I was super glad to see her, and I knew we were going to have a lot of fun: shopping in the non-expensive street in Cannes while confirming the myth about how snobbish people can be on the famous Croisette, visiting the beautiful Nice, enjoying cooking and eating good things, swimming, resting, meeting new people and chatting, chatting and chatting again.
What I didn’t expect was how liberating it was to break with the familiar surroundings and how it changed our perspectives. My brain was too busy discovering new places, new environments, and listening to new stories. No time to brood over trifling matters. No feelings of obligation to anything or anyone (including myself). No fear of how people think. No delays to respect. No guilt of not doing enough, saying (or not saying) enough.
I felt free, as if my brain worked only for good things. I realized I was able to let go. This was amazing! Me, the anxious control freak just let go and guess what? My world didn’t crash down because of it! I felt just good, comfortable in my own skin. I simply lived my life in the purest way and it was ENOUGH. I found nothing more relaxing and recharging than being in harmony with myself.
When we are out of our routine elements, we lose our marks but especially every bad thing that comes with it. Honestly, back at home, my bad habits have been trying to come back despite my big efforts to stay in the vacation mood. Familiar people, familiar acts and familiar thoughts tend to bring me back to my former routine but my state of mind has changed.
Now, I know I am able to let go, to allow myself a real time off without feeling guilty. I know I can feel this fulfillment time. The next step of my learning is to be able to feel it in my everyday life, by taking time alone with myself; in other words, to love myself more. For now, my first step is to keep whistling my summer song.
About Lorene: Lorene is a French observer and learner of life. She’s been working as a salesperson and a marketing assistant for four years to learn the ropes of the business world. She used to be a sports journalist while doing her Master’s degree and she loves writing and telling stories about great people too much not to go back to her first love soon. She lives in the French Alps, and loves to try to solve the world’s problems while having a great meal with her loved ones. She is passionate about foreign languages, self-development books, American TV shows, and people. Oh, and she’s a total nerd of Academic studies (when she’ll win the lottery, she’ll go to Harvard).