13 April 2009

Putting the X into my holiday

I always feel a bit pressured during holidays. Time is so precious to me, and I always feel the need to do something really useful with my time off. So I often don’t feel very relaxed, and sometimes I get a bit down. There’s the pull between relaxing, hanging out with people and having a nice time; and doing some ‘work’ – there’s always have lots of writing-related work to do, in between my own writing, blogging and other internet stuff, JAAM, Seraph Press stuff and other projects I get up to.

I realised this morning though, that what a good holiday is, and in fact a good day in general, is a day that is distinguishable from other days, a day that you remember as: ‘The day I did X’, X being something significant or new or out of the ordinary. X doesn’t need to be an enormous thing; just something different.

So today I decided I needed to do something different. We didn’t do anything of world-shattering significance, we just decided to go for a walk and explore some paths around our neighbourhood that we’ve never been down (or, mostly, up) before.

So off we set, down our hill. Our first stop, of course, was for coffee. Being caffeinated can only help with X. Then we headed up the steps to St Johns Hill, then through Te Aro School, then down a secret magical path to the end of the gully at the bottom of Devon Street, which is overgrown and always seems damp, but wasn’t today because it’s been so sunny (and windy) lately.

Our last adventure was to attempt to get to our place via the mythical ‘other end of the path’, which required sneaking through a gate, and through some bushes that haven’t been cut back in a while. I knew we were going to make it all the way through when I caught a glimpse of our house from an angle that I’d never seen it from before. I guess that’s the thing about going to new places – you often see things that are familiar from new angles – metaphorically and literally. And your eyes are so much more open, you take so much more in.

Later in the afternoon, the other new thing I did was interview Sean on video about the film script he’s working on. We’ve decided we’re going to do this every now and then to have a record of its progress, and how he was thinking about it at different points. And maybe one day we’ll be able to use some of it as a special feature on the DVD! (I filmed him sitting in front of our bookcases and the Wonder Woman figurine pictured above, which Jenny gave me after I published Locating the Madonna, was behind his head for the whole interview.)

So, today was the day that X was exploring new paths, and videoing Sean talking about his movie for the first time.

I hope tomorrow X will be something too. Every day should have an X.

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