On relaxing

I’m still on honeymoon. But I thought I’d say hello. You see, it’s been three weeks since we left London, and I haven’t gone this long without writing in a decade.

And I really miss it.

I’m just not that great at doing nothing these days. That’s something I’ve realised over the past ten days of honeymoon. (We’re in Anguilla in the Caribbean, and it’s hot and sandy and blissfully five-star with hot and cold running mai tais.)

We got here and for the first two days I marched around, looking for activities, making lists, worrying that I didn’t know how to do nothing. Then on the third day I got back into bed after breakfast and had a nap, and realised that I did know how to do nothing. I just haven’t practiced doing nothing since, well, university.

And I’d forgotten how awesome it is.

What with the two books (and a half a one that died, RIP poor little bookfail), the trailer, the screenplay, my freelance copywriting, the wedding and moving house, it’s been a busy 18 months. And even pre-book life, I never took a long holiday. I didn’t have a gap year, I never saved enough to take time off between jobs (I’d like to blame the pathetic pay of an advertising copywriter for this, but it may also have had something to do with my well-documented fondness for cheap clothes and expensive bars). I guess I could have gone to work in a bar on a beach somewhere, or whatever people do when they’re on a career break, but I was generally paranoid that if I did I might not have a career to come back to. The holidays I did take were broken up into one week chunks over the year so I could pop to Hong Kong to see my folks regularly (which was lovely, but any family holiday is by definition not relaxing, right?), and the odd long weekend somewhere cheap and hot with friends. So you see, all in all, this extended-relaxation honeymoon thing is a bit of a shock to the system.

Not, by the way, that I was a workaholic in my 20s. Very, very far from it.
In fact, for most of my 20s, I focused on having a good time, and tried not to get lost/dumped/broke/drunk before sundown. Then I turned 29, and got a strange ‘I can do more than this’ feeling about, well, everything in my life. It was like someone flicked the ‘on’ switch in my brain. And these days there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I want to do.

I’ve started to wonder if I enjoy working (by which I mean writing) more than I enjoyed relaxing.

That is probably why I’m here, writing this, like some QWERTY-addicted junkie. Just between you and me, because I know it’s a bit odd, I realised today (as I savored the thought of writing this, thought about what I wanted to say and then sat down in peace and quiet and zoned everything out as I started to type) I really do find writing thrilling. It floods me with those feel-good endorphins you read about in magazines. Like sex, chocolate, coffee, shopping, or smoking cigarettes, I get a strange euphoric rush when I write. I just love it.

Good thing I’m a writer, huh?

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One thought on “On relaxing

  1. daisy aitkens

    Even better for us who get to read your musings!

    Your blog is definitely aiding my Gemma withdrawels.
    p.s. Those wedding shoes made me cry a little.


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