I’ve had a few discussions recently about what makes people tick. Conversations about what relaxes them and what makes them happy. Chats about what they would have done if money was no object. Or about before there were kids and mortgages and university educations to think about.
There seems to be a growing focus these days on doing something just for you. Lately I have found it harder and harder to find time for “me time” but everyone seems to agree that it is really important to keep some aside to do a little bit of what you love.
What Do I Love?
I thought and thought after these conversations. What is a little bit of what I love? Mr Wanderlust loves to play golf although lamentably for him he doesn’t get to play that much any more. I can’t stand golf (sorry golfers) so that’s not for me.
Some people go camping or paddle boarding. Some knit or do crochet or make jewellery (in fact I used to be the jewellery person). Other people go off to the spa for a massage or a facial which I must admit I LOVE but that it seems just a bit too extravagant to do every week or even every month. So I figure that’s not my thing either.
Are Friends My Me Time?
I do love to be around people who lift me up.
My Breakfast Club friends are my Therapy and I couldn’t live without our regular catch-ups.
I’m LOVING my weekly blogging date with Laura from Life With Baby Kicks and I won’t book ANYTHING on a Wednesday now. I’d rather have a tooth pulled out than miss one of our sessions and I’m dreading our 4 week break over Christmas. I’m connecting with more bloggers around the globe who understand this new world I inhabit. Once a month I really enjoy going to networking sessions for a professional women’s group that I volunteer with.
My friends at home who are all part of various WhatsApp groups now usually text me while I’m asleep so I wake up to eleventy million messages which are me giggle. They also make me late for the school run but are totally worth it!
Three of my most favourite things with three of my most favourite people: A cup of tea with Granny Wanderlust is one of my most favourite things to do. A chat with my Bestie Wanderlust in person or on video chat is like chicken soup for my soul. Last but not least, date night with Mr Wanderlust will never fail to make me happy.
Go Back To Your Roots
While friends and family are absolutely one of my most favourite things and I couldn’t function without the energy that they give me, I felt I needed a some THING not a some ONE. A thing that didn’t matter if it was in a bad mood or on good form. Or if I hadn’t texted for ages or was feeling like a bad friend. Or if that person was miles and miles away on the other side of the world and asleep at the precise moment that I needed a chat.
I knew it was there somewhere but just couldn’t put my finger on it. It was only last week that I really realised the thing that lights me up above all else.
You may know that I am fluent in Spanish. I studied it at school before going to Ecuador to volunteer for 6 months and then traveling for 3.
You might not know that those 6 months were the most influential of my entire life and they deserve several blog posts all of their own. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for those 6 months. I wouldn’t have made the friends I had. I wouldn’t have found my first job. I wouldn’t have met Mr Wanderlust. I wouldn’t have become obsessed with Latin pop music to the point of fatigue for all my friends and family. (I know my 4th year housemates still remember Tabaco y Chanel which I played AD NAUSEUM).
Those of you who follow me on Instagram might have seen my growing levels of excitement about Luis Fonsi coming to town last week.
You’ll also, then, have seen the disappointment when the night I was expecting of full on Latin tunes and dancing were replaced with 5 Luis Fonsi sings (admittedly sung by him… maybe or maybe not lip-synched).
It was so disappointing. But it was also a bit of an ah-ha moment.
Taking Me Back
I realised that wherever we go, I seek out other Spanish speakers. I intentionally found a Bolivian nanny for Thing 1 when we were in the UK.
I try to speak Spanish with the Things whenever I can. I listen to Latin songs in the car and make sure I stay in contact with the incredible people who shaped my life the 2 times that I lived in Quito.
I realised that of all the times in my life, living there was where I felt happiest and most like myself. (Admittedly I intentionally lived life there as if I wasn’t there forever… which I wasn’t). When I speak Spanish or hear Latin music, I’m instantly transported back to that time. When I chat to my old friends there, its like I saw them a few months ago. It’s actually been 17 years since I was there. It makes me forget that I always assumed I would go back there to live and didn’t.
A Little Bit of What You Love
Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But realising that I still have this thing that can make me as happy as I was once then made me realise how much I love that part of me and my life.
I’m not one to make lots of New Year’s Resolutions but I can see that this time might be a bit different as I’ll be trying to incorporate it a bit more into my life next year. As important as all the other plans I have for next year are, I’m definitely recognising the case for doing a little bit of what you love.