There are two things that I am pretty sure of when it comes to me having a day off work. One, it will be raining and two, I find it pretty hard to relax. I always have grand plans to spend a day resting and recovering and somehow just cannot work out how to get that right. I think it comes down to the expectation of being busy in our society.
The Christmas break (as some people call it) happens to be my busiest time of year at work, so it’s also the time of year I feel most in need of some relaxing days off. I was looking for a chance to let my mind and body recover from a hectic week at work yet I found myself not even being able to sleep in.
As usual over this time, my husband and I had some family staying with us so we decided to get out of the house and take my mum and brother out for some fun – and after so much time spent indoors over the last few weeks I was pretty eager to get outdoors and into the sunshine. But as I mentioned before I can always count on it to rain on my day off so halfway up the coast, stuck in holiday traffic now in the rain we decided to switch plans and head to Maleny for lunch instead.
The drive to Maleny is such a beautiful one, and it had been quite a few years I realised since I had done it. Why I have not made the effort more is beyond me!
So a relaxing day was happening. A beautiful drive through the mountains, and I even had a wine with lunch! Next up I just wanted to go and take in some of the scenery and get a few photos. On the way down there wasn’t many places to stop and we didn’t want to go anywhere that required walking as one, the tired thing, and two, we were not wearing appropriate footwear (having had originally had beach plans).
Somehow the road home led us to the turn off to Mt Beerburrum Lookout. Great I thought, should be able to get a few quick shots! When we got to the end of the dirt road it became apparent that we weren’t yet at the lookout. A quick scope of the area told us that we had a 700m walk to get there. Debating based on the earlier two factors we decided since we were there already why not, I mean 700m isn’t that far. Yes we saw the ‘steep walk’ sign but really didn’t think much more of it.
What it should have said at the bottom of the sign was ‘seriously, this is steep’. The track started and we just walked up, 50m in the sweating and the puffing was serious and the doubts started to flood my mind. I was not going to make it to the top. Then you would look up and think it looks a little like levelling out…but it didn’t, it just kept climbing up.
I like to think that one of my strong qualities lies within my desire to not give up – I very nearly gave up on this 700m climb. About half way up I was sitting in the middle of the path, my calves cramping, contemplating if I was actually going to throw up and the thought seriously entered my mind. But the dominating thought was that I didn’t want to be the only one not to make it to the top. So very slowly I kept going.
I was pretty glad to stagger to the top of the hill, climb into the viewing platform and lay down on the cool metal letting the breeze flow over me. After a little bit I could pull out my camera. The views were 360 giving such a vast perspective on the area. It made the climb a little satisfying. After staying an appropriate amount of time to recover from the walk and realise that doing nothing on your day off is pretty boring when you could accidentally find yourself climbing ridiculously steep mountains, it was time to attempt the decent.
Usually it is a sigh of relief that the return trip is downhill, and yes that was certainly the case but in this instance the downhill was so steep that one missed step and I was sure I would roll all the way to the bottom. This became the time to realise that rubber thongs, not the best shoes for walking up or down mountains. I was just glad that it wasn’t raining at that moment otherwise it would have just been one giant slide down!
When I sat down to tell you this story I did have a general point I wanted to share. That is something along the lines of we spend so much time being busy yet doing nothing. I don’t want to just be busy for the sake of it, I want to set out and achieve something.
I wanted to relax on my day off and in an abstract kind of way I actually did. Distancing myself from everyday life, focusing on the physical rather than the mental actually gave me the much needed break I was looking for.
What ways do you relax on your day off? Have you ever had any unexpected hikes?