Like many of my fellow Australians, I love this time of year. The magical two weeks or so between Boxing day and the start of a new working year.
You’ve managed to survive the horrors of Pre-Xmas shopping, where even finding a car park in a shopping centre needs to be a carefully planned strategic operation in its own right.
You’ve survived all the Christmas Parties, dinners, and “we must get together before Christmas” events. Some of them you even enjoyed.
And somehow, whether it was through divine intervention, consumption of alcohol, or channelling friends who caution you to “change your response – no-one can make you feel bad, only you can make you feel bad”, you have survived Christmas Day with the family.
My most recent Christmas Day was indeed rich with possible material for a blog post. If only I was brave enough.
Come Boxing Day morning though, unless you are off to the Sales (and surprisingly for someone who considers themselves a shopper, I have yet to attend one Boxing Day sale on the actual day) it is time to breathe again. To take a tentative step off the treadmill and dip your foot in holiday waters.
Every day from the 26th on I become more and more relaxed until I reach the point of inertia. Jobs that usually take me half an hour to do during my normal busy life, require at least half a day to complete. If I can be bothered to do them at all that is.
Perhaps it is the food from the festive season weighing me down. Or the lack of my normal gym routine forcing my energy levels into decline. Apparently walking, even power walking up Tasmanian cliffs, does not release the same endorphin rush as a boxing class. As much as I like to hope it will.
Whatever the cause, during this two-week people I am generally the happiest, most at peace and relaxed I can be.
The fact I often spend this time of year at what I call my “spiritual home” no doubt increases my sense of serenity.
I am not really sure what it is about my fairy godmother-in-law’s shack in Orford, East Cost Tasmania, that I love so much. It could be the physical beauty of the place.
For the sand is so white it almost blinds your eyes. The sea is a mixture of emerald-green closer to shore and then azure blue the further out you swim. The colours of the beach are spoiled only by the fact the water is usually the kind to give you an ice cream headache if you swim for more than five minutes. Even with a wetsuit.
For those “mainlanders” used to competing with half of the city whenever they try to escape to a holiday location, Orford is a haven of space and tranquility. There are no queues, there is no jostling for spots on the beach. There is no good coffee either, but even the bad coffee is bearable in this magical place.
When I am in Orford, I feel like I am home. More than in my actual home, or the hometown I lived in for the first quarter of my life. When I am in Orford, I have the space to think and refocus on my hopes and dreams.
And the time to play games with my children. For what it’s worth, Chloe and I are the reigning Pictionary champions. Those boys were just a little too cocky. Pardon the pun.
Sadly though as with every holiday, our Orford time has had to come to an end. With the end of the Orford sojourn also came the inevitable return flight to Melbourne and back to the real world.
Which in turn brings me to sitting at my beloved Mac and writing this blog post. Two pleasures I have definitely missed whilst recharging at Orford. (In case you were wondering, yes they do have the Internet in Tasmania. Only I couldn’t fit my laptop in my holiday luggage).
But I write with more than a trace of sadness. For writing this post means the holiday is indeed over and now I must face up to domestic duties as well as a return to work.
For me there is also the angst of the inevitable gypsy call that comes at the end of every holiday. Should we stay living in Melbourne or is it time to move on? If yes, where too? Within Melbourne or maybe at last a sea change?
Yes, the magical holiday period when the whole country seems to join me in relaxing, is over. Gone as surely as India’s hopes of winning this test series. Or Lara Bingle’s hopes of ever being reunited with “Pup” – did you see the new chick when he got his triple century? Now she is someone deserving of the #1 WAG title.
Meanwhile in my little (blog) corner of the world, I am hoping that I can remain my relaxed self and beat the looming post holiday blues for a little while longer. At least until the Australia Day long weekend.
Aussie Aussie Aussie till then,