We are just back from a mini-break escape to the country and as always when we get away from it all, it brings up many things to give me cause to pause and reflect.
Sometimes that’s the only way to take stock – to get away from where you’re at for a while so you can see what you miss, and what you don’t. You’ve probably done the same thing – gone away for a few days or weeks, and thought: ‘this is how life is meant to be’, before returning and promptly slipping back into the way life is.
This trip has reminded me of how fortunate we are to live where we do with what we have, and it also highlights how much of it we don’t need and should probably do without.
We headed west, to Stanthorpe, over the Great Dividing Range for a couple of nights. We are so blessed here on the Gold Coast, as winter really isn’t that cold, so we wanted to take the kids somewhere where a log fire is a necessity.
We chose to stay at Hooter’s Hut, a little two bedroom cabin surrounded by bushland, just outside of Stanthorpe. It was the perfect choice for a family holiday – it’s well set up for an escape from the city, with everything you could need and plenty of space outside for the kids to run free.
And run free they did – making good use of the billy cart, traipsing through the bushland over giant boulders, foraging for firewood and poking the camp fire at night.
They sat in front of the inside fire playing chess (which was a revelation to me, I had no idea they knew how to!) and reading.
We could hear cows from distant fields, abundant bird life and not once did we hear a passing car, siren or music from a neighbour. The kangaroos came out to graze in the morning, and a mother and her joey hopped past us on an afternoon walk.
We took a walk through the nearby Girraween National Park to soak up even more nature, to marvel at the massive rock formations, and the perfect beauty that Mother Nature dishes up.
Hubby was most impressed with my ‘short cut’ navigation skills, that saw us bumping along dirt ‘roads’ (hey, they were on the map!) which seemed to go on forever through wide, wide country and you cross more cattle grids than bridges. There is a lot of space out there – much of it barren-looking because of a lack of water – and it provides a big dose of perspective if you care to notice. It’s a big, wide world yet we spend most of our time caught up in the minutiae of our days, spinning our minds over details that more than likely are as permanent as a wisp of cloud.
As always, a trip away showed me how much pressure we are typically under in our day-to-day lives here.That life still isn’t exactly as we would like it to be. That’s not a bad thing to be reminded about. It shows us that some changes would allow us more time for pursuits that bring us happiness.
Change, particularly when it means going without or going against what everyone else is doing, sometimes isn’t easy to get your head around. Most of us complain that there’s never enough time to do what we would like to, but really, we can make time if we’re willing to make changes and stop doing things that we’d rather not.
As mums, we’re always going to be busy, particularly if you have personal goals you want to achieve as well. It’s even more important then, that you are selective about what you spend your time doing. We deny ourselves the time for pleasure, rest or relaxation because of guilt. We ‘save’ those things for holidays or later on, when we deserve it. And meanwhile, while we’re waiting and punishing ourselves with gruelling schedules and workloads, life goes on.
One of the greatest challenges we face in our society – and that our children will also face as they grow – is to stay in the present, to live in the moment, to make your life as you want it today, and to stop filling your moments with what isn’t important.
Have you made any big changes to make your life more as you wish it was?