Here in New Zealand we've just had two weeks school holiday. It was the mid-year break (our system runs from Febuary to December with our big summer break from Christmas through January). I have to admit I usually face the end of term time with a little trepidation - my husband doesn't get time off during most of the holidays and I have all four of our kids at home all day (ages 3-7)and it doesn't take long for them to get somewhat restless. And of course my writing routine just disappears altogether - I'm too shattered by the end of each arbitration/cooking/chaos filled day to manage anything at night. So come the end of holiday time, I'm usually hanging out for school to start again for the eldest two and for the younger two (twins) to have a few sessions at preschool.
But these holidays? These holidays were different.
Maybe it is because the children are getting that bit older - its so much easier to load everyone up and go off on a day-adventure when you don't have to take a zillion nappies or strollers and changes of clothes etc. They can all express their needs beautifully now and I'm no longer watching those once teenie premmie twins anxiously to ensure they're getting enough to eat... those terribly fragile first few years are past (as wonderful as they were, there was that huge effort and exhaustion).
Now it's just a huge amount of fun! Our pile of preschoolers has turned into a gorgeous gang of children equipped with endless curiosity, energy and that wonderful ability to giggle lots and lots and lots. Infectiously.
And I even managed to do some writing! Especially in the first week - I wrote late at night then took the children out in the morning through 'til lunchtime and then I confess had a one-eye open snooze on the sofa while they either read or watched a DVD. In the second week the children swam every day (indoor, its winter here) and we went on beach walks collecting shells and crabs in the chilly afternoon wind. Very refreshing!!! We watched an entire season of Merlin (the BBC family drama) in the evenings all bundled up together...
Frankly, I didn't want the holidays to end we were so relaxed and having such a nice time! Of course now I'm having a time settling back into the weekly routine. I have a wonderfully shiny new idea to get working on (just have to, you know, START), there are a million places to cart the kids every afternoon (you know, more swimming, music, brownies...) and there's the New Zealand Romance Writer's Conference in only a month or so (big YAY). But honestly? I'm already totally looking forward to 10 weeks time when it'll be the next round of holidays and we can get back into our lazy swim/play/laze routine... even better hubbie will be off for at least part of the next ones so we can all be together...
For now though, I must find that elusive thing called discipline... have you seen any recently? It's really gone into hiding round here... and I'm still acting like I'm on holiday and reading on the sofa instead of hitting the keyboard or pavement or even bothering to look at that mile long to do list... and of course as term time starts to tick, so does my deadline...
So please, help me out. How do you pick it up and pull yourself back on track after a lovely break? Tips? Motivational techniques?? All suggestions gratefully received :)
Natalie has a few books out at the moment - To Love, Honor & Disobey is available now from EHarlequin and will be on the shelves in the US in August.
Unbuttoned by her Maverick Boss is on the shelves now in the UK and still available from Mills & Boon.
While Caught on Camera with the CEO is available now from Mills & Boon Australia and will be on the shelves in August.
For more information on all of Natalie's books go to her website!