Finding time and space for exploring

One  of the things I find myself obsessing over is time. Where does it go? It seeps through, minutes into hours and then whole afternoons are lost to fiddling around in the garden or sitting in the shade reading a book. Then I remind myself, with a pinch, that this is okay, when I’m not committed to my scheduled working hours, the time is mine, and this is what we came for. The break from the norm. To release yourself from the shackles of time and plans and endless things to do…meetings to attend, responsibilities, action and reflection and worry and inaction, is a complete luxury. The awful concept of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) creeps in, but I have learnt quickly to bat that one away as I look out on the barren hills, hear the goat bells, feel the prickle of hot sun on my skin and appreciate everything as it is now.

It’s June and we have nearly been away for 3 months, now the island is filling up with visitors and  all of a sudden I get waves of impatience about what I’m doing or not doing – “why aren’t I better speaking Greek?” “why haven’t I written more, read more, learnt more..”This the horrible fact of being me and not listening when people say ‘siga siga’ (slowly slowly). But I hope I am learning to be more patient with my expectations.

That’s why heading out for a crazy hike on Thursday morning was such a brilliantly spur of the moment plan. My parents arrived on Thursday, so knowing that the next week or so would be taken up with ‘holidaying’ heading out for an early hike before I collected them at Syros Port made perfect sense.

That’s the main thing I appreciate here…the diary is wide open, anything can happen. No over planning necessary today, big decisions are food related. We are both learning to tear up the plan (whatever that means – I know people that have their diaries filled every weekend for the next year, life agenda’s mapped out to the 3rd child/ board promotion /forever home…) That’s okay, this sort of plan works well for some people – life can have a direction and goals to work towards. But that doesn’t always allow  to see the possibilities and be open to seeing life in a different mold, we can’t all be cookie-cutter suburban 9-5’ers. What happens when things throw you off course? How does a plan change?  This is the ‘noodle-overload’ that often debilitates me from making any decisions at all! In fact G and I suffered from this for the past year, Greece teased us on the horizon of our Zone 5 lives like a golden carrot on a string. But we struggled to make it real by looking at every scenario in utter detail, over-thinking in its worst form. In the end things happen and you respond with the right reaction, like making a dream real.

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But right now, here in Syros with a plan-free summer it feels so positive not to know where I am heading, to free up the minutia of planning small and big things is truly liberating. That’s why waking up on Thursday and walking to Aetos Beach under azure blue sky and encountering no other wanderers on the path was the perfect way to just get out there and discover this magical place we now call home.

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The walk was a 9k round trip Kini – Delfini – Varvarousa – Aetos.  The paths once past Varvarousa and Aetos scale high up the cliffs mostly unmarked so take a bit of working out as you go through an old patch of abandoned house ruins and a quarry-like piles of stones. The hillsides become more vegetated with pine trees and some paths are overgrown with prickly branches…I was wearing shorts, a rookie error! There is also spectacular wild lavender and sage scenting the hillsides at this time of year. But when you arrive at a deserted cove, pale sand untouched and the morning sun just starting to heat up it makes all the effort worthwhile.

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Enjoy your Sunday, now it’s raining here and I can be thankful the plants don’t need watering. Time to take my parents on a tour of ‘Kini in the rain’…

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