I’ve written about this in previous blog posts but the past week has absolutely reminded me that it is the simple things in life that really matter.
I spent last week in a stunning part of Wales (Nefyn, on the Llyn Peninsula) with my wife, daughter, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew. Nefyn is a small village with little going on (even less at the moment, due to Covid restrictions) but it is all the better for it. We spent our days either on the beach, walking, or exploring local towns and villages, whilst our evenings were spent playing games, chatting and laughing.
The simplicity of the break was Heaven for me. We had a rough idea of what we wanted to do during the week though we still took each day as it came. Time spent there reinforced my view that experiences matter far more than material possessions / ‘things’. Absolute joy came from the simplest of activities: jumping from a pier into the cold Irish Sea at high tide (something which made me feel more alive than I have done in years); ending a day on a quiet beach by barbecuing and squeezing in one last game of rounders; watching seals in a bay not a stones throw away from where we were stood; tramping up a hill (Garn Boduan) on a drizzly and windy day to take in the spectacular views and marvel at being higher than a fighter jet which shot past us whilst we were at the summit; eagerly tucking into fish & chips following a day when the step target was once again achieved with ease; playing games during the evening; telling jokes and tales; and reminiscing about days gone by and previous holidays.
This was valuable down-time but it was so much more than that for me. Yes, it was time for me to relax and recharge the batteries, but it also reinforced my view that good company matters more than anything. It confirmed that close friends and family are just about everything in life. It made me appreciate the wonderful life I have thanks to having family members and a close circle of friends who I can rely on at all times; people who would be there for me at the drop of a hat should I ever need them; good, honest, decent, genuine people. I know I am truly blessed in that regard, but a reminder is needed every now and again.
And then there was Cathy. Cathy was the 86-year old owner of the beach hut next-but-one to ours (our hut came with the property and was a godsend) and was a delight. I could write here about how inspirational her outlook on life is, and how it was a joy to sit and listen to her speak, but that absolutely warrants a blog post all of its own so I’ll address that next week.
So, to summarise, I’ve had a hugely enjoyable and life-affirming week. From a mental health perspective, it was beneficial in so many ways. It helped clear some of the clutter in my mind. It helped me to remember that people and experiences matter far more than possessions. It helped me to remember that connecting with nature and the outside world is invaluable and I need to do it as often as possible. It helped me to begin refocusing by returning home and cancelling most of the marketing e-mails I receive from companies and therefore reduce the noise and clutter of everyday life (I should only buy ‘things’ when I need them anyway, not when an e-mail prompts me to spend money on something I don’t really need). It reminded me to live, to love, and to step back more often and look at what truly matters in life. I expected a great week away beforehand though I didn’t expect it to be quite so enlightening, thought-provoking, and beneficial.
As always, thanks for reading, take care and try to take a minute or two to appreciate just what really matters in your life. It is really good for the soul…