10 things I learnt about myself on holiday. Susan Jane Bradfield. Raybans. Reflection. Wearing Gap.

10 things I learnt about myself whilst on holiday…

In Books, Health & Wellbeing, Lifestyle, lupus, Motivational, Out & About by Susan

I am a much fussier eater than I realised

We were fully inclusive in our hotel and food was not in short supply and don’t panic I didn’t starve.  However in the evening when we went to the main restaurant we were faced with huge counters of food that we could help ourselves too.  It was in abundance. Unfortunately, I can’t eat anything too spicy or too garlicky or too oily as I can get a bad stomach very easily (lupus issues), therefore had to be really careful with what I ate.  Even the rice had chilli in it.  Plus there was an awful lot of fish dishes, which you may think ‘great’, but I have fish issues.  I do actually have fish issues, which I can only trace back to childhood memories of my Dad in the kitchen following a deep sea fishing trip.  There were fish EVERYWHERE being gutted in the kitchen.  It is turning my stomach as I think about it and as I am writing this, I realise that it is a weird issue to have but there we have it.  So yes, I am fussy with my food.  I will work on it and really try some new things.

I do want a toned body

I refuse to let Lupus or fatigue beat me.  I want to be fit and have a toned body.  Don’t get me wrong I wore a bikini and felt confident and happy in it.  Even with my scars showing.  But you know what I really want to NOT have thighs that wobbly, have cellulite or touch.  So I have come home from my holiday and I am going to introduce exercise back in my life again.  I don’t know how this is going to work or even if I will cope with it.  You have to try though right?  Watch this space…

I am so proud of my boys

They are so grown up now and spending 1 whole week with their full attention was a gift.  I feel a bit emotional about it all because this could potentially have been the last holiday that I have with my family just being the 5 of us.  Any future holidays we just don’t know if the older boys will even want to come away with us, and If they do the chance is there may be a plus one coming.  Seriously though I just got to spend a whole week with three amazing boys that are mine, MINE!  I have grown, given birth to and raised 3 beautiful boys, who are polite, handsome and absolutely full of love and character.  Jesus I am going to suffer so badly when (if) they leave home with the whole empty nest syndrome…

I am not as confident as I thought

This is really hard for me to admit as well.  We are not just talking body confident but as a whole.  We had an animation team that wanted people joining in with games throughout the week.  They were brilliant.  Towards the end of the week, they were doing ‘Pool Gymnastics’ which in English terms actually translates into ‘Aqua Aerobics’.  The first couple of days I watched from the poolside as people joined in.  The last day I almost went in, something inside me just wasn’t ready.   Even in photos, I always take the photos, not one of my family take a sneaky photo of me, I always had to ask, ‘could you take a photo of me’.  I then proceeded to pull stupid poses or faces, because I just didn’t know what to do with myself.  ARGH.  Is this because I feel overweight and generally uncomfortable?  Have some horrible memories been brought to the surface once again, where I just feel damn ugly?  Yes, both of these are definitely a part of it.  I have to work on these issues FAST because I have plans, big plans for the future, which means that I will potentially be in front of the camera more.

I love reading

I have always known I love reading, this is not something new.  HOWEVER, I have had books on the shelf piling up over a couple of years now that I have shoved to the bottom of my priority list because I have felt that there were more important things to do.  I took 4 novels away on holiday and managed to read 3 1/4 of them, and loved every single minute of being lost in those books.  In fact, I confess I didn’t allow myself to switch my computer on at home until I had finished that 4th novel.  What isn’t to love?  Laying on a sunlounger reading Poldark is just perfect!  This is one point that I absolutely definitely am going to continue.  Reading is a passion and it is a journey for me.  I am fortunate to be one of those people who can skim read, but I totally lose myself in the characters and the plot.  This in itself is going to feed my creative side.  I have included my holiday reading list below should you wish to get the books yourself.

Having a break from work and social media does not end the world

We knew when we booked the holiday that there would only be wifi in the reception of the hotel.  This was fine with all of us.  The wifi, however, was very sporadic.  Every now and then my phone pinged whilst I was around the pool, and even whilst sat in the reception the wifi wouldn’t work.  half way through the holiday we discovered that we could get wifi whilst in the main restaurant.  So we generally spent 5 minutes in the morning checking in and 5 minutes after dinner checking in.  That was it.  I managed to do a couple of videos and live broadcasts for my social media during the week but compared to what I have been like at home I felt disconnected to the world.  This is a good thing.  What I have realised is that switching off your phone is not going to stop the world revolving.  Anything urgent or essential and you will find out about it.  Yes, I lost followers on Instagram, but hey if they don’t appreciate me having my first holiday in 10 years then they don’t deserve to be following me.

I love swimming

I haven’t been swimming in such a long time.  The pools were amazing at our resort.  The huge outdoor one was cold at the start of the week, but as the weather got hotter so did the pool.  The indoor pool within the spa was warmer and so tranquil.  I am a breaststroke swimmer, no point in attempting front crawl or any other stroke because I would end up emptying the pool very quickly.  Gently swimming a few lengths every day was really quite enjoyable.  There is no hope of me being fast enough to indulge in a race with the 3 boys or the husband, but left to my own devices I realised that I quite like a gentle swim.

Since having children I am a very nervous traveller

This must be fairly common?  Feeling anxious whilst flying with your whole family.  It is not just the safety of you in the balance, it is the safety of your children and your husband.  Archie doesn’t remember going on an aeroplane, so naturally, he was nervous before we got on the plane.  I found not only was I having to deal with my own fearful irrational issues but I also as a parent had to act excited and dampen down his fears.  I even joined in the whooping noises when the plane took off.  Archies hand I held gently in my right hand whilst my left hand was breaking the bones of Rogers (Sorry about that hubby).  Maybe flying at night when you are tired is also not a great idea.

I overpack

This is again a fairly common thing when packing for an overseas holiday.  Made worse by the fact that we haven’t had one for over 10 years.  I had no clue what to pack, so I packed everything.  My case was the heaviest out of the 5 of us and I had a few clean clothes that I brought home with me.  In defence of my own admission, I would rather overpack and have too much, than under pack and have to go to dinner in stained clothing.

Being in fresh air is really good for me

This is a big one.  Having Lupus, you are advised to stay out of the sun, because It can bring on flares.  I went away with this in mind, In fact, it was on my mind all the time.  People will read this and think, why if you have Lupus did you then go to a hot country like Bulgaria for your holiday?  Well, I will reply with ‘I have a family and kids who really needed a holiday’.  My family have been through so much with my illnesses and operations and this was really a holiday for them.  I was terrified that I would end up being inside the hotel, whilst they were outside, even to the point of having a couple of nightmares about it.  The reality is my lovely husband went out every morning and made sure he got a nice area around the pool with 5 sun loungers and 3 parasols.  There was always shade for me and to observers, I must have looked crazy as I bed hopped throughout the day as the sun moved.  It worked.  I rested, my body rested, my mind rested and despite prickly heat rash all over I am ok.  So far so good.  I wore factor 50 SPF all week and had a sunhat on and my Raybans, I didn’t burn and ok I am not a dark tanned colour, but I have colour and everyone who has seen me says I look really well.  I feel well (well as can be expected for me) and I have realised that I will respect the sun and listen to my body, but I won’t hide inside anymore.


My holiday reading list.

LYREBIRD by Cecelia Ahern

MAGIC by Danielle Steel

POLDARK (Ross Poldark) by Winston Graham

POLDARK (Demelza) by Winston Graham

*please note that this list contains affiliate links