We recently took a road trip to Wales to see our family. It got me thinking and reflecting.
Life cannot be summed up in one word, but more a compilation of many words that spark feelings. I for one am constantly taken a back at how it goes. How it works. It can all seem a little bit out of ones control at times. There are some things ultimately we just cannot control. The present, right now cannot be more different to how i’d have imagined it. In terms of having our families meaning mine and Dans living in two different places. One side lives here in Kent and the other lives in Wales. Id have never have imagined that. One minute we had so much family time, dinners and Sunday roasts at the grandparents. And then just like that all of it was swept up from under our feet. I can’t remember the last time we could just, on a whim visit the grandparents for a roast dinner.
On the odd occasion I’ll sit down and have a moment and wonder why? I get it people move, life changes, circumstances push us to do things differently and I understand. But ultimately it would be nice if we were all together, or at least closer. But I also know how special it is and all the memories we make and have already made visiting our family in Wales. It’s true I think things happen for a reason. I really believe that. For us to learn and grow. For us to try new things. It’s how the world works I am sure of it. If things were always the same what would we learn? It strengthens our character and teaches us to not get to attached to everything, this keeps our hearts open and reminds us to be happy first without the externals.
It’s always a very exciting adventure when we take a road trip to Wales. The children love going to visit, the road trip, stopping at the services. Arriving all a little bit disheveled from the journey, shoes kicked off, colouring pencils all over the back of the car floor, remnants of all the snacks over the seats, crumbs of cake and pastries. Arthur clutching his beloved teddy and his num num firmly in his mouth. (num num is what he calls his dummy) Archie half asleep half awake. Sophia climbing over Archie’s legs trying to get out as fast as she can. The best stretch when we get out of the car, cuddles all round.
It’s just a really special road trip. It always will be. I think because we don’t do it often, a few times a year if that. I think also because it’s to see their granny, aunty and cousin. I think it’s because it’s a combination of late nights, lots of sweets, all of the fresh air, the sounds of the country side and feeling that we’ve escaped the madness here in Kent that is sometimes our life. The constant ‘busy’ rushing lifestyle that can sometimes be here, to keep up, to move faster, to do it all. It can be exhausting sometimes. So Wales is kind of like this detox and refresh button on our minds and body. The country life gives us that time even though usually short to rest away from where we work. Although I usually always take my work with me if not physically its usually heavy on my mind, always thinking of the things I need to do when I get back.
Sometimes all we need is to stop putting such high expectations on ourselves. Sometimes we all need to strip ourselves of the pressures and expectations life can put on us. I know our trips away to Wales do this for us. Driving up always allows for a time of reflection, I am constantly reminded that all we really need in life are our family, and to be content with what we have. Because we really do think we need far too much then we actually need. It’s in our human nature to want more than we need, I think so.
Life is good now. Life is simple, life has its moments. Throws us curveballs. Throws us hard experiences. throws us pain and hurt. But it continues to gift us with good experiences and feelings of love and gratitude. Reminding us to have a humble heart and to appreciate what we have because anything can happen in any given moment. Sometimes we can never be prepared, sometimes things are completely out of our control, and sometimes we have to ride with the waves of life.
Our visit to Wales: What did we do?
We only went up to Wales for two days, so just a quick weekend trip fitting it around school and work. We visited Powy’s castle and had a browse around the local town. Much of our time was spent outdoors on Sunday as Saturday was rainy and so we spent it at soft play not ideal but at least us adults had a hot coffee and some to time to catch up.
On Sunday the children made fairy gardens and Archie went for a long muddy walk with his aunty and poppy the dog. All simple ordinary moments and all special memories to be added to our memory bank. Next stop more happy memories more simple ordinary days. More family time, and less pressure.
I’m so Looking forward to the summer for exactly this reason. For these moments, for a chance to enjoy the outdoors while the weather is beautiful. To spend most of our days waking up with no expectations other than to have a lovely day. No pressure to go to the most funnest, loudest most exciting places. Rather to grab a picnic lunch a quiet spot and an ice cream. Summer is all about those ordinary special moments with mum and sometimes dad when he is not at work. Not that I am counting but this will be my fourth summer while having at least one child in school. It half feels like my first. Where do the years go?
I think the best thing we can do is capture the moments. In photos in videos, in personal family albums, in a journal. A place where you can pick those memories up anytime you want.