“Life is an amazing and magical gift.” WE KNOW! We all know that life is full of incredible opportunity. But life is also full of other things – sadness, hardship and difficulty. Sometimes things get miserable and we can’t see the wood for the trees. Sometimes reminding ourselves of all that life has to offer isn’t enough, and we can get so pulled down by things that, well, we hit road blocks or ruts that we can’t get out of.
So, what do you do about it? What do you do when you literally don’t know what to do?
Well sometimes, you need to escape.
I located myself hanging out, or rather, wallowing, in one of these ruts recently. And whilst of course there are so many atrocious things going on in the world, in my little world, I’d seriously had enough.
So last week, seriously tired and disgruntled, I packed my bags and joined my family in Derbyshire for a few days. Now, it wasn’t meant to be a jolly jaunt, which is why what happened next was so surprising for me. It was, in fact, to attend my great Aunt Peggy’s funeral. Naturally, I thought it would be nothing but a terribly sad occasion.
Of course it was sad. But, living late into her 90s, it soon became apparent that because she’d lived such a long life – it could be nothing other than a celebration of her legacy and a very natural goodbye. My Mum hails from the North and moved South when she was young, but we have a lot of family who live in and around Derbyshire, who all gathered for the funeral and the reception afterwards. A.P was a family-loving lady, who I honestly think would have loved nothing more than the whole family gathering together and re-connecting because of her.
But also, hearing her eulogy, and listening to stories told by my Granddad and other family members, I found it incredible to learn more about the people I descend from. They certainly weren’t moping martyrs by any stretch, I’m sure they all had their down days, but they were – and are – strong, powerful people who lived through war and hardship and, by the sounds of it, took no nonsense whatsoever. Even just tapping into a bit of family history provided me with a shift in perspective and a sense of needing to honour the life they fought so hard to carve out. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here.
Whilst in Derbyshire, we stayed for three days in The Peak Edge Hotel, which is nestled right on the edge of Derbyshire’s Peak District. I logged out of all my emails and social media (except for the odd instagram post, obv) and checked out of my life as best I could.
It’s honestly AMAZING how being somewhere different (and disconnecting from social media) can make you feel like you’ve escaped the world, and especially somewhere like the Peak district, which is so different to where I live. It may not be a 30 degree beach, but it’s entering a beautiful bubble of rolling hills, low stone walls, cottages and roaring fires. Also everyone seems so much friendlier up North…just saying!
The bedrooms at the Peak Edge are beautiful and the one I stayed in had a stunning view out over the fields, literally nothing to be seen for miles except rolling hills and an a stone chimney peeping up in the distance.
The hotel restaurant was also an amazing place to relax – no plastic or modern stuff in sight, simply endless beams, wooden tables, cosy side rooms and huge armchairs in front of an enormous fire. We also found some time to do some exploring of the local area, where my Granddad and great Aunts/Uncle grew up. I even got some walking in, and honestly, walking can be the best thing to quiet a manic mind – it’s like a form of free therapy!
And so, in just a few days of escaping reality, I started to feel my perspective shifting and sense of ‘renewal’ in my approach to life. Perhaps we all need to escape from our day to day sometimes and go somewhere that means something to us, to remember where we come from, and let that act as a guide towards who we’re meant to be.
So, if you’re feeling lost or in a rut, have a think – is there somewhere you loved to go when you were younger? Have you got some family or friends or a connection to a certain place where you can visit? They say that whenever you go back to somewhere you’ve been before, you can re-connect to a part of yourself that you left there.
Sometimes escaping from your day to day is the best thing you can do if you’re restless, or lost on what to do. This little trip gave me a break, reminded me that I descend from some seriously strong people, and renewed my perspective on things. Like a breath of fresh air, I feel ready to tackle life again, make some decisions, and get moving forwards.
It’s reminded me that my life is far from terrible, and that I should be grateful for so many things, and focusing on what I have got and not what I haven’t. And that actually, whatever comes next, I’m resilient enough to cope with it – like so many people have before me.