I'm sitting under a palm tree with the med as the backdrop to my laptop screen as I type. And I have a lump in my throat that won't go away.
You don't mind if I indulge in some vacation related blog-therapy (blogapy? blerapy?) whilst I tan do you?
The lump is the psychological indigestion caused by missing my family terribly and yet having a good time and feeling guilty for having a good time and yet feeling compelled to have a good time because it would be even worse to leave my husband and kids for a week whilst I sunned myself miserably in the med for a week. It's a sort of pleasant angst to have, but I confess I am struggling with it. Did I make the right decision? Should I have taken 4 y/o out of his first full week of school to come to his uncle's wedding? Should I have piled more on the credit card to afford for all of us to go?
The astute amongst you will have noticed I am finding it hard to switch off my brain. It is running circles around itself ruminating on the morality of taking a holiday whilst leaving your partner and kids to fend for themselves in rainy North Somerset. Almost inevitably it will go into shutdown just in time for my return to work where I will be a gibbering pile of uselessness for some time to come. But I will have a nice tan that will last for at least 3 days.
I was doing quite well for the first 24 hours, before everyone else arrived (scummy mummy flew EasyJet eschewing all things packagey, and am rather mortifyied to discover that my travel mantra "Expedia is always cheapest" is an untruth). I strolled, sunned, swam in the sea for the first time in the post-children era, had a mini-facial and indian head massage during which I awoke myself with the sound of my ladylike purry snoring on a number of occasions, and drunk some margaritas in a bar on my own. It wasn't very Casablanca. The only other person there was a geezer who was older than my granddad, and only slightly more alive.
Brain distraction is the key. Since the arrival of nieces, nephews and other sundry children I have been clucking around them, coralling them, offering to hold their hands and take them to the loo and reminding their parents its time for their antibiotics. Like some kind of demented parent supervisor. And again another conundrum - yes, I promised the other half as I left, I will make sure I make good use of this holiday, I will make sure I don't spend it all babysitting the lovely but demanding cousin mob. I will make some ME time.
And so it comes to pass that I have enforced some me time by taking up scuba diving again after a 16 year adjournment. "You're STILL a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver" said the disarmingly friendly scuba diver lady in the shop I accidentally fell into yesterday morning whilst unaccompanied by a real adult. The metaphysical dilemmas posed by this torturous holiday became too confusing and overwhelming to unravel and before you could say "Buoyancy Control Device" I was booked in for my first dive. And, I reasoned, there is no point doing one unless you are going to do 3. Even if I have solemnly sworn to myself and the hubby that I have investigated scuba diving and it's more than our budget can tolerate.
But anyway, it's all too much thinking. Less thinking, more diving required. I will return a happier wife and mum and this will be the better for all concerned. This holiday is a gift* and I'm going to enjoy it. Yesterday I sent the boys a postcard saying "Mummy is going to be an Octonaut". So that's settled.
*when I say gift I mean a gift from Mastercard obv.