Holiday thoughts

We took a holiday.

It was wonderful.

We (mostly) had great Autumn weather. Cool crisp mornings, followed by sunny days. My very favourite kind of weather.

Campground Papa and The Campground Kid and Lake Taupo

We saw lovely people in lovely places.

In our ten days, we stayed in five wonderful spots. We spent time with all of The Campground Kid’s grandparents, plus two of her second cousins, two of her first cousins once removed, and one of her second cousins once removed.

Our family and our favourite country were the killer combination that brought us home, and this holiday was all about them.

Family time on the Napier Waterfront

It was lovely.

But it was also hard.

It was hard to say goodbye again to people and places after such short visits. The goodbyes and the things we missed out on made it hard to keep the doubts from creeping in. Would we be happier somewhere different? Could we be doing something different? Should we be different?

It was logistically difficult too. Lots of driving, different food, different beds, different routines. They’re hard on us, and they’re even harder on The Campground Kid.

She coped remarkably. And seeing her outside her routine highlighted just how much she has grown and changed since we arrived in New Zealand seven months ago.  I’m pretty sure I’m biased, but I’m also pretty sure that she’s an amazing kid.

Windy walks on the Wellington Waterfront

It was a special time.

But it’s also quite a relief to be back.  Back home, back to work, back to our routines.

This morning, our first day back, we were a bit tired (thanks to a wild bedtime last night and a cold for Campground Papa), but we were actually happy to get back to work. And The Campground Kid was very happy to get back to her daycare.

We were even happier when work was quiet enough that we could have plenty of coffee breaks and fit in some unpacking and some laundry.

And, despite the doubts, I can’t help but think that a life we’re happy to be back to is a pretty good life.

Working through.

On Christmas morning, we woke up early. But it wasn’t because of an overexcited kid. Nope, The Campground Kid didn’t really know about Santa, and actually had a sleep in. It was because we had to start work at 7:45am. Yep, this year, we worked on Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years, and quite a few days in between. Welcome to the campground business!

But actually, we didn’t mind, and for the most part, it was totally fine. I love the holidays. I love big celebrations with my family. I love Christmas music. But for various reasons (divorced parents, mother who’s a minister, living far away from family) I’ve never been too wedded to a particular day or a particularly traditional celebration. 

Christmas Day swim

We managed to have Campground Papa’s parents here for Christmas Eve/morning. And on our working Christmas, we enjoyed spreading a little cheer around the park, a swim, some presents, and my first ever glazed ham for dinner. We had a Christmas Shrub (TM) set up, a lot of Christmas music in the office, and for the first time The Campground Kid was actually interested in opening presents. There was plenty of Christmas cheer to go around. Then we had a couple of days off where we saw a bunch of my family and celebrated Christmas (Observed) at a glorious bach. We ate, drank, played backyard cricket, and watched the kids be loons. We had a little Secret Santa. We had strawberry cheesecake chimichangas and gingerbread coffee as the kids tore into their gifts. We did a post-Christmas tramp on the most amazing day in Tongariro National Park. It was, quite simply, great. 

Christmas (Observed) matching socks.


But it was also hard. We had to get everything way in advance to make it happen. We rushed from work to bach with very little packing time. We rushed from Christmas (Observed) to tramping. And then we went from a hot morning tramping to a windy drive home straight back into work and followed it up with the busiest day of the year. We were go go go go go. 

Post-Christmas tramp with our Campground Kid

It wasn’t working Christmas that made it hard. It was not having a summer holiday when all of our family and most of NZ were having a summer holiday that made it hard. It was trying to fit a week of celebrations and travelling and activities and fun into a weekend. It was having to be so much more organised than ever before.

So when we finally had a breather on January 3rd? First we sighed a big ol’ sigh of relief. And then I decided that I need a planner. Planners have often failed me in the past. And now that my week is non-traditional, I felt like a premade planner would be even less successful. So I’m diving into the (amazing, but rather more intense than expected) world of the “Bullet Journal”.

 

It’s not the prettiest, and it’s not entirely “bullet”, but I’m guessing no one really cares about that. In fact, probably no one cares about my journal at all. But I’m hoping that posting about it publicly means I stick to it more than I have in the past. And I’m hoping that it, along with the extra year experience, means I’m a little more prepared for working through the holidays next year. Maybe it will help me work through some other stuff too? I can only hope!