I needed that.
I needed to stop feeling that every day was a challenge to be met with work that needed to be done. Whether it was about gainful employment, assignments to be written, counselling books to be read, chores to be done and all that myriad of things that find their way onto my list of Things to Be Done, in my head or on paper. I needed to stop.
Some of it was unplanned. I had a few placement clients who, for various reasons, didn’t last long. So that expectation of client work filling up the holiday disappeared. I also didn’t chase getting new clients quite as much as I could have because I was enjoying the break.
I had a break from personal therapy of a month. I had bought a number of counselling books in the last term which I didn’t pick up. I didn’t look at assignments for this coming year. I did nothing course wise at all.
Instead I had two trips to pick up and drop off 2son and turned them into a week each for me, knowing full well I wasn’t going to get a “proper” holiday. I visited friends I hadn’t seen for a few years and pottered up the east coast paddling at multiple beaches along the way and really enjoying the peace that big water brings.
With those two trips forcibly bookending the summer I did as little as possible in between. I didn’t go for big days out anywhere. I didn’t really go into London for exhibitions and plays that I might have enjoyed. I did potter about locally, going out with friends and a few trips.
My children are all so much more self-sufficient, with my youngest having got a summer job so being out the house all week every week, 2son being much more contented with himself and therefore less of a worry. We were all just getting on with our lives and periodically coming together as a family to be silly, or talk, or whatever.
I got back into reading fiction, abandoning what I was doing whenever the sun was out and relaxing in the garden with a book and a cup of tea. That was my achievement over the summer, just lots of reading for pleasure.
I then spent most of September digging my heels in, not wanting to be back at college, back in any sense of routine, not feeling ready to start again. That’s the trouble with downing tools: sometimes it’s just really hard to pick them up again.
Now, partway through October I am feeling the need to get organised, to have a routine, to build a strategy to get through this year. I have started a second placement so the week is filling up with commitments of college, two placements, therapy, two lots of supervision, plus work, plus all the other stuff. This year feels like an endurance challenge rather than a voyage of exploration. I will get through it but I am more looking forward to having it done.