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It’s been two weeks since I finished my courses, got my diplomas and have been able to relax. Or try to relax, at least, after an intense race to the finish line (exams and final portfolio), after months of absorbing knowledge and dealing with a few breakdowns. Of course, I am not completely done, I’m enrolled in the continuous education programme and I also have many other things I need to learn and practice, but I can at least do it at my own pace now. I was tempted to jump back to the schedule I had before these courses, to all the work I had postponed, but then I realised I needed a break. My brain needed to chill, I was feeling exhausted and then the summer came.

dunes egmond aan zee

I set the holiday mood on and proceeded towards achieving relaxation. I took advantage of living close to the sea and national parks, and spent a lot of time outdoors, walking or sunbathing, listening to the waves at the seaside and the birds in the forest. It might not all be milk and honey in my life, but when I look at the sea for hours, I am at peace.

When I walk on the dunes, I feel happy (when I’m not dying of thirst, that is). The hot sand caressing my feet acts as anti-stress therapy. There are almost no people around during the week and I like that. Having the dunes only for myself feels great. Having the entire day just for me feels amazing. All those hours, all mine, to do whatever I wish with them. No rush to an office, no meetings to attend. Nothing to do but read and cook and dream. I cherish this free time, like a prisoner who dreamt of freedom for years. Every minute is enjoyed and I act very selfishly with this time: even arranging meetings with friends becomes difficult, as it means I am giving away from the precious hours. Almost every day, I have to remind myself that this summer I can work as much or as little as I want, I can arrange my schedule, I don’t have to prove anything to anyone; it’s easy to forget and be dragged into the world of productivity, high achievers, constant producing.

The mornings are mine, the afternoons and evenings too. This summer is mine, all mine! I haven’t got a summer for myself since I was in school and had the luxury of summer holiday. And I’m planning to use it wisely.

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