Two mugs of water

At home I have a pint glass of water by my bed – here,  I have to improvise – and so I have two mugs…

This morning I woke up and both glasses were full. As a metaphor that’s pretty awesome! 🙂

The explanation – as I see it is this: whilst here I abandon my quinoa porridge and rice and vegetables diet plus kefir – and instead eat: white toast, cake, white bread and cheese, more cake – and then often pasta or pizza for tea!!   Because that, bless them, is my parents’ diet much of the time…  And, observing my body, it appears that on this diet I have fewer bowel movements and need to wee less – it is as if all that lovely refined flour soaks up the water I drink and thus my bladder is far less demanding!

And so, last night, instead of being restless – waking for a wee, my mind often over active, my sleep fitful – I pretty much slept like a baby 🙂

When I was a child I noticed that despite having some fabulous family holidays – chock a block with all sorts of delights – as the days went on and we approached the end of the holiday I always found myself starting to think wistfully of home…

Five years ago whilst celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary fulfilling a lifelong ambition to visit Venice I became aware of another phenomenon – luxurious holidays where I just get to swan about, look at beautiful things and eat fabulous food – doesn’t quite do it for me – how ungrateful is that!

But on that holiday I found myself really missing having to get up early – and work!  This was quite a revelation – I found I missed not having a purpose, not working towards something, or achieving something – I think I also missed not being tired at the end of the day, and even, not having something difficult or uncomfortable to get through during the day.

Since then holidays for me have either been involving learning something: yoga, Thai massage,  The Journey  – or have been walking holidays. And that works for me.

So this current holiday – with my two full glasses of water – how am I doing?

Shopping and eating out – how is that?!!!  Cringe…sounds dreadfully shallow and fatuous…

So I think what is happening this time is a mixture…

Someone once said that the novelist E.M. Forster couldn’t never have been a great writer because he didn’t suffer enough – great artists need to suffer to produce great work…

Now I am not silly enough to suggest that I have any pretentions about my blog being anything other than a jotting down of my thoughts – but ….  I was starting to wonder whether the reason I have been finding it less easy to write, and have been feeling that my outpourings are getting pedestrian, is that I have been having day after day just having a nice time ….

The few bits and bobs I needed to do to support my parents have now boiled down to clothes washing, food preparation, and the evening DVD pantomine… nothing heroic!

And so my mind is relatively still; my bladder – thanks to the glut of refined white flour – is calm; and my two glasses of water are full 🙂

So I was wondering am I happy – or just in some kind of numbed out relaxed trance?  And does it matter?

I was very struck by a documentary some years back about people with a bi-polar diagnosis – what my mother would call manic depressives… And the thing they all said – which I both find extraordiary – and makes perfect sense – is that if someone found a cure – they would NOT take it.

And the reason they all gave was, that although the lows were truly appalling, that the highs were SO wonderful that it made their lives extraordinary, magical – and they wouldn’t give that up for anything – certainly not for just been more even in their moods…

My holiday is lovely – because it is not really about the shopping – or even the food 🙂 … it is about spending time with my family… and the various bits which have been challenging, diffcult, uncomfortable, tiring – they make me feel alive … it is during these times that I feel most love, most connection – and I feel I have something to offer – and that makes me happy – not numb – and is my way of having the best time 🙂

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Emily MumfordView all posts by Emily Mumford