It’s 1983 and Madonna is on stage looking like a cross between Jane Fonda and Noel Fielding, whacking out some serious moves on the floor of a fitness studio.
She’s dressed head to toe in black in a pair of punk boots and some sort of kilt with an entourage of equally emo, pelvic-thrusters in the background, immitating her every move.
The official video for “Holiday” doesn’t quite match up with the words of that iconic song, but where I’m watching it from (and laughing my head off at it) does.
When The Idol, passed away four days ago it forced me to unexpectedly press STOP. And after skipping over quite a few of the 7 stages of grieving, I leapfrogged my way forward into what I call Good Grief – when grieving another life makes you want to re-evaluate your own.
It’s when you assess your situation and if needs be, adjust or reset your ambitions.
And it was only when I did stop that it became glaringly obvious that over the past couple of weeks there had been a huge shift in balance of my priorities.
Not only was I spending a big chunk of time lining somebody else’s pockets with my wordsmith wizardry when I actually have offers to be lining my own, I was slowly starting to neglect my focus on “doing good stuff to be a better me“
Call it self-care, self-love, well-being, self-preservation, ‘me time’ or whatever you want -the minutes we take to do activities that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth are quite possibly the most important minutes of our day.
90% of the time I’m committed to it, but I somehow always manage to find my way back there, to that 10% gap. I mean, if I’m having trouble finding time in my busy schedule to cry, then surely something isn’t right.
“You burn the candle at both ends, Laurie”, my Grandma was always telling me. And I did, and I do, and I’ve done it again. And I thought, you know what I need?
A f*cking holiday.
To anybody who’s followed my blog, seen my Instagram stories, or been spammed by my Facebook posts, that statement might sound like a bit of a joke.
Yes, I have been adventuring my way around South East Asia and having the most incredible experiences, seeing the most incredible sights, eating the most incredible food and meeting the most incredible people.
But it’s not been relaxing one little bit – in fact, nothing I ever do is.
I worked myself into the ground for a “Fair Trade” brand that had me working like a slave in exchange for mediocre coffee and a few slices of pineapple. I spent a month dragging seven wardrobes’ worth of inappropriate traveller clobber through Myanmar, South to North, while battling with a chronic chest infection.
Then I went from the world’s most emotionally intense vipassana meditation retreat and straight into a whirlwind tour of Bangkok. And that was all before landing here, in Koh Samui, a paradise island where I’ve already had three weeks’ worth of visitors and have otherwise been glued to my laptop from 6 in the morning until 10 at night.
It’s all been out of choice and with my own slightly off-beat view of what happiness means. It’s what I love to refer to as “character building” and there have been plenty of life lessons and magical moments of Fate along the way.
So now, just for a few days it’s time to call a time out, to try and master the art of doing nothing, to get horizontal and to listen to the waves.
You can turn this world around
And bring back all of those happy days
Put your trouble down
It’s time to celebrate
Let love shine
And we will find
A way to come together
And make things better
We need a holiday