Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 26th December

You don’t realise how much changes on holiday until you are confronted with it. There is so much that we do differently when not faced with the reality and mundanity of everyday life. It’s not only about simply taking things at a different pace, but also about how we seem to see things.

Money is one of the things, for me, that seems to take on a new perspective when I’m on holiday. I spend far too much on what I normally wouldn’t!

Time is, of course, another thing that is completely different. The idea of looming deadlines becomes alien on holiday. Never mind that I should be doing a whole lot of writing, down here in Sedge my clients seem to be much further away than at home – although cyber space is not about actual distance and they are definitely not receding!

It’s also so possible – and so normal – to spend a whole lot of time doing nothing on holiday and to feel good about it. Why not? Isn’t the understanding of a ‘holiday’ taking a break, having a change, making things be different?

I feel as though we haven’t spent enough time on the beach, just being, while we’ve been here. This is slightly crazy as we really have been to the beach just about every day (weather being the only barrier). It just seems as though everyone else has a different need for spending time in the sand and sun. To me, then, this doesn’t feel like a real holiday yet…

Yesterday we did the ‘tourist thing’ in Knysna, which is always fun, but should take one day as far as I’m concerned and then be over. As much as I am fascinated by people and their stories, I don’t like crowds.

I saw a woman without any hair yesterday. It’s amazing how attuned we become into things that may not have registered previously. I have been consciously looking at people and their hair ever since mine came out and off and it is interesting that there are very, very few women who go hairless. Is this because of vanity, social acceptance, or just something that happens? Considering the statistics for breast cancer, one would assume that there should be a lot more women in the same position.

I never wanted a wig and really couldn’t be bothered to worry about what I look like. Sometimes I think it’s fine and I just look different, but okay, without hair. At other times, I think I look dreadful. I don’t have to look at myself all the time, though, so what the hell! I usually remember to wear a bandanna or something, more for the sun than anything, so it’s not really an issue.

Interesting, though.

Looking at others, seeing ourselves. These are just things that we do. And that always changes.

Maybe it’s not only on holiday that things change all the time…


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