Well-spent, Or Not

as long asIt’s been about a week since our official school holidays began– this long awaited year end holiday has finally come, and in this highly anticipated period of the year, how’re you spending your time? I wanted to write about what I’ll be doing for the holidays, because beginning with the end in mind often works for me, when I came to realise that I’m not doing things that are too different from my previous few holidays: my June Holidays was characterised by community service and the last year end holiday was full of new experiences and reflections.

When given the luxury of time as we are now, we are often at a loss of how to ‘best’ make use of this time (as if there were some criterion, or as if we didn’t want to let the future us down). I think about 2 months later when school reopens and the holiday has gone by in a flash and what I would like to be saying about my holiday– “It was good”, “It was well-spent”, “fruitful”, “meaningful”, “a great break”. And I also think about how I don’t want to be part of the (often) majority replying, “What holiday?” as if this highly anticipated privilege was all but a lie. Though it seems for many around me that the most characteristic of any school holiday is an overseas family holiday trip, I’ve had to work around a new definition for how I use my holidays because I haven’t actually gone on a family holiday for about 8 years or so– which leads me to find new meaning, if not purpose, in this luxury of time we have been given.

In the past couple of holidays since I turned about Y4, the new constants in my holidays have been:

1. Family time, where I find time to deepen the friendship with my family members and share more memories with the extra time I can make for them.

2. Adventures, where I find solidarity in being at places I find infinite beauty in and try to immerse myself in experiences I rarely have the time to enjoy in school: from gallery hopping to cafe hopping, and being in the city (which is practically my favourite place) or finding the most quaint corners in Singapore to lose myself in.

3. Service, because I often believe in being part of things larger than ourselves and humbling oneself with the experience of service– heightening empathy and gaining new insights and lessons every time.

4. Catching up, which is essential for the extrovert side of me considering the little time we get to make for social life outside school on normal school days.

5. Exercise, after all, health is our most valuable asset.

On top of this list this holiday, I’ve got reading and writing to be doing so I’m looking forward to how this holiday continues to be an extravagant experience as a whole for me. When people ask me how they should or can better spend this holidays, I feel there is some sort of a misunderstanding. There is no absolute answer to the perfect holiday or no formula to a meaningful one– it’s more about the little things you hope to have in your memories, or the things you’d like to be doing where time permits. Last year, I started taking dress making classes for a while and also went on a knitting craze, so maybe trying to learn something new and something that’d make your heart beat a little faster could be an interesting way to start if you really have nothing to be doing.

But if not, as long as you’re doing what you’d be happy recalling as this holiday comes to an end later, it would’ve been a holiday “well-spent”.

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