From the moment I said good-bye at the airport on August 5 to begin the new Darwin chapter of my life, I began dreaming of my return home for Christmas. As hard as I tried to not wish my life away, I could not resist the emotional pull of family and familiarity. And so, it was with joyful expectation that I counted the months, the weeks, the days and finally the hours until I packed my suitcase and headed for the airport.
It is said that three weeks is an ideal length of time for a holiday. The first week is winding down, the second relaxing, and the third gearing up. I haven't had enough holidays of more than a couple of days duration to properly test this theory, and this time has not been at all normal, but I'm beginning to feel something. Today is day 10 of my holiday-the half way point, and a vague forgetfulness is creeping over me.
The alarm has not, but once, rudely interrupted me from slumber. I have driven my XR6, which I missed, everywhere I needed to go, but the imperative to go has diminished. I eat and drink whatever I want whenever I want - late dinners, early lunches, multiple lunches. Planning for the day happens that morning or maybe the night before. I don't exercise except for spontaneous walks around the beach at Kiama or bicycle rides. There is nothing I have to do. No place I have to go.
I can almost not remember that I live in Darwin, that I have a job there and that I don't know when I will return home for good. The memory of strict routines, buses, gym work outs and continually oppressive heat have faded. The loneliness, and the symptoms of Hug Deprivation Syndrome have disappeared. I feel lazy and unenergetic, and I'm happy to go with that because I am on holiday. I can almost forget that I'll never see my dad again.
It's a beautiful sunny morning. We'll probably go to the beach, but we don't have to. I'll watch some more cricket on TV, swimming in the languid sea of rest, falling all over the lounge in various positions of repost. I might even have a beer before lunch. I don't have any real plans. I'm in week 2 of my break, and I feel calmer than I have for quite some time. To achieve this tranquility means choosing to forget, but not in the sense of not remembering; it's more like letting go.