Why is it that I always crash and burn by the time my annual leave arrives?
Over time, I’ve come to realise that if I don’t take a significant break from work every 12 weeks, I struggle to function. Yet, despite knowing that, I still end up feeling burnt out by the time my leave arrives.
Partly, I know it’s due to packing so much work into the last week to ensure everything runs smoothly in my absence, making sure the team have drained me of as much information and knowledge as possible, so I can enjoy an entire week without being disturbed by my colleagues or worrying about my inbox.
This is also the first real break I’ve had since lockdown began, and I suspect that also has something to do with the way I’ve felt since I closed my laptop later than anticipated on Thursday evening.
There’s also been the ongoing social media campaign in relation to Black Lives Matter, which has also been quite draining. I’ve questioned myself (and my partner) a lot over the last week, finding it difficult to get my level of involvement just right. We’ve had some interesting conversations, with lot’s to think about, but on top of everything else, it’s taken it’s toll.
That also coincided with some tragic news from my partners family.
By the time Thursday evening arrived, I felt as though I’d hit a brick wall. My head was banging, my eyes were tired, and my body just said ‘stop’.
So that’s what I did.
For the next 24 hours I practically did nothing.
It took slightly longer than that to start to feel human again, but after a great night’s sleep last night, I woke up this morning, feeling as though I had some energy back.
I’m grateful that although I’m not very good at sitting still and doing nothing, I am in tune with my body, and I know that sometimes the only way to recover, both mentally and physically, is to stop.
However, my body also knows, that every now and again, I also need to escape London and head out to the countryside.
Now that lockdown restrictions have eased enough to let some of our beauty spots re-open, our weekends now signal at least an afternoon trip to somewhere either one of us, or neither of us has been before, within an hour of London.
This weekend we decided to take a trip down the A3 to visit Frensham Pond. Neither of us had been before, and all I really knew was that it has a man-made beach!
For those who like a little bit of history, Frensham Little Pond and Frensham Great Pond were made in the 13th century. Their original purpose was to supply fish to the Bishop of Winchester and his court, whilst they were visiting Farnham Castle.
Frensham Common, which sits just behind the pond, is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Protection Area (SPA). The common covers 372 hectares (922 acres) and consists of dry and wet heath, some woodland, scrub and ponds.
We purposefully chose an overcast day to head out to Frensham, as during the good weather, I had read that the car park is normally fully by 10am! Although it did mean missing the opportunity to relax on the beach or bathe in the ponds beautifully clear waters.
We practically had the man-made beach to ourselves. With some restrictions still being enforced, we were grateful the toilets were open, but the cafe is still closed. Luckily we’d gone armed with our own snacks!
As much as lockdown was strange for us at the beginning (rather than both of us being trapped in our own homes living alone, we made the decision early on to spend most of our time together, with him only popping home briefly when his cats need feeding), we’ve now got used to our new normal.
We normally both have such busy work schedules, and my partner keeps busy earning additional income over the weekends, that we’ve never really had the opportunity to have days out together pre-lockdown. It’s been so much fun exploring places new places together, creating our own memories for the first time. It will be hard to go back to ‘normal’ when restrictions are fully relaxed, although I think we’re still a long way from that at the moment.
We didn’t spend long at Frensham as the weather started to close in, but it’s definitely somewhere worth a day out to. I’d live to get down there on a sunny day, but neither of us a have been early risers during lockdown, so I think it will be a while before we head back again, but it was nice to tick another place off my bucket list 😀
I hope you’ve all had great weekends despite the typically British weather we’ve been experiencing 😀🌦