One of my favourite films is the 1998 film starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear.  It’s a charming story about a grumpy man who falls in love and reluctantly changes to endear himself to his new love. The title was what initially drew me to the film, it sounded somewhat pessimistic but I thought it might be a good comedy, with an angle (especially with Jack Nicholson headlining!) This, as you can see is also the title of this blog, so will it be pessimistic? I hope it’s going to be the opposite, let’s see…..

I started writing this on holiday. For the first time ever, I have taken a months holiday with hubby and we have been traveling New Zealand, somewhere I have always wanted to visit. Our eldest son Alex, is on a working visa for a year and we thought it too rude not to visit, so here we are. The trip has been planned for months and I have dreamt about seeing the sights and visiting this magical place.

It’s no mean feat to carve out a month when you run a growing consultancy. Team prepped to step in and up, ailing parents warned “no shenanigans” and youngest son, not accompanying us, as he is on a work placement, told to “take care” …. Nothing was going to spoil the holiday of a lifetime!

After a days travel we landed in Perth and spent 4 days with family, before being reunited with our eldest. It had been 9 months since we last saw him, so the reunion was emotional and welcome.

Just hours after our reunion, we rushed Alex via ambulance to the nearest emergency department, where they treated him for anaphylaxis. His 4th to date and a mystery as to the cause. The next week, we had two more visits to hospital as the symptoms ebbed and flowed. It left us all feeling quite anxious and stressed.

Reassuring words from a doctor in Auckland encouraged us not to change our travel plans and so the holiday took on an upward beat. Fabulous views and amazing experiences put us back on track for this perfect holiday.

Then a phone call from my dad, distressed that he was stuck in Rochdale town centre with no money, threw us off track again. The truth was he was in respite care, as an infection had caused his dementia to descend into a spiral of confusion. Phone calls to my mum and brother, broadened the picture and what had been happening. Life does not stop happening while you are on holiday! The shine started to rub off the holiday of a lifetime…..

So why am I sharing this with you? To say “Woe is me?” – not at all. What I learned from this is applicable to everyone who works and has a private life that sometimes overshadows what they do for a living.

We sometimes have a picture of the perfect weekend, holiday, life, relationship and when things don’t go according to plan it takes the wind out of our sails and somehow the experience is diminished. What I felt was disappointment, that I could not even have a month off without demands on my time or support. What I then decided was that if this is “as good as it gets” I would squeeze every drop of enjoyment from it, so that on my return I am as ready and rested to get back to real life. I would selfishly pursue each magical experience to recharge my batteries, for the battering life gives us all.

So it wasn’t perfect, life never is. There were many magical moments, lots of recharging…. Now I am ready to get back to life, because if this is as good as it gets, you need to find all that magic to keep you going!

Just in case you were starting to feeling the slightest bit sorry for me, let’s put an end to that and insert a couple of gratuitously gorgeous holiday snaps! #loveNZ




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