I was trying to relax today. Why does it have to be so difficult? Relaxing, by definition, should be easy.

But then there’s the to-do list, ever present, hovering nearby – in actual fact an app on my phone which sends me little clarinet-trills every time I’m “meant” to be doing something.

Today I did laundry

made coffee

revised a few pages of my novel

looked over the budget with Luuk

fed, played with and changed Elena

cuddled, changed and talked with Louis

tidied toys

walked to the bakery – bought bread and eclairs

did french homework

went to church – iced biscuits with the kids and then ate too many (gluttony at church… if only it were the first time)

named Louis’ clothes (as required by daycare) and sorted out the things that are now too small into two piles: for elena and not for elena.

ate three meals and too many snacks

read half a page of “Coastliners” by Joanne Harris, and then got distracted.

It wasn’t a bad day at all.

Lots of highlights: great conversations with Luuk, in the car on the way to church and back, several gorgeous moments with my gorgeous kids, fun icing biscuits and chatting with the kids at church, some delicious food (including a remarkable lemon eclair – tasted like Mum’s lemon pudding) and it’s always nice to tick things off the to-do list. I did a lot of that today. Not really relaxing, but productive, which is a different kind of relaxing – I don’t feel guilty for achieving nothing all day.

Is there something wrong with me? No – that shouldn’t be a question. There is definitely something wrong – with me or with culture/society/etc. But there is something wrong with feeling guilty for resting? For a lapse in productivity?

I really need a holiday. I’m not sure exactly what it will take to get me sitting still for a couple of hours together, but I’m guessing a really good book would help. Other people to help with the children and the housework would be good too. And I think getting out of town would be a flying leap in the right direction.

A week from now we’ll be doing just that. Hallelujah. Mum and Dad will be with us, and they’re helpful (though will also be holidaying so I must not take advantage too much). There will be a pool and I’m pretty sure there’s a good book somewhere on my Kindle. Or there will be by then. Maybe two or three in fact. Ooh! Just remembered Marian Keyes new book is out in the next few days. That’s my first book sorted. I’d read anything by that woman. Devoured “Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family” last week. Hilarious. Hi-larious.