Zen stone pile

Lasting holiday zen

I took a three week break from work recently. I could do that because I live in the Lucky Country (Australia) and we have sensible and humane holiday (vacation) leave provisions.

So I could afford to take three weeks and do nothing. I really didn’t ‘do nothing’ (more about what I did do, later in the post) and still have leave left over to go away later this year. When you live in Australia and you want to go overseas for a holiday, unless you’re going to South East Asia or want to visit one of the closer island nations, Fiji, Samoa, etc, or New Zealand, you’re going to want to be away for more than a week. Otherwise the air travel isn’t worth it.

What about the ‘do nothing’ holiday?

What it really was was a holiday of no external restrictions; I did whatever I wanted to every one of those 21 days.

I walked, I shopped, I spent some days doing nothing but reading and going for coffee down the street. I cooked, I wrote. I caught up on some of my binge TV hoard. I got up when I felt like getting up and went to bed when I wanted to go to sleep. On at least one day I didn’t get out of my jim-jams until it was time to go to bed again, at which point I took a shower (to cool off) , changed into clean jim-jams and went to bed. I drank a million glasses of lemon and ginger iced tea and sat in front of the fan all day. I went out to lunch and talked on the phone. Went out to dinner and didn’t worry about how late it was getting.

What I didn’t do was chores. I didn’t clean the house or organise the spare room. I didn’t go to the dentist or get ready for my taxes. I did laundry but only to keep me in summer holiday outfits.

And I went back to work refreshed. Really refreshed, the way I always think I’m going to feel before I go on a regular holiday. But those ‘regular’ holidays are in some ways like work. There’s a schedule. There’s commitments to other people. And you have to get dressed every day.

So here’s to the “do nothing holiday”. I highly recommend it for the mind, for the body and for the spirit.


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