Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, Travel /

I don’t know if it’s my French side, or if it’s just me. But this much I know: I can’t stop. I can’t stop learning, I can’t stop thinking, I can’t stop worrying, I can’t stop working, and I can’t stop having new ideas. Yes, I know: most of you will feel tired just reading this. Sorry.

The thing is, I am on holidays in Bali -of all places. But I still have to do a lot. I just have to. Despite the stunning sceneries, the rice paddies and the amazing art, there is always something to do. Always. Not to mention that as a mum, you are never off duty. Never. There is always a drama waiting to happen.


How do I switch off? Why can’t I switch off? I have no excuse whatsoever…

How did I become like this? Maybe it’s just us French (if there is such a thing as us French). I was reading the news this morning ( that’s something else I can’t stop doing). Apparently, French farmers are throwing manure on tourists’ cars to emphasise their points (something to do with wanting more money and/or tax breaks). They can’t stop either. Come to think of it, social conflicts tend to be more intense in my home country. Maybe we are just more intense. I seriously wonder.

So what to do ? Well, I keep trying. Maybe things will improve. I hope so. Maybe we women are just serial worriers, and I am no exception.

How do you learn to let go? I need to be in the here and now. Right. Easier said than done!

Don’t get me wrong, I am having a great time. I just need, well, to stop being me for a few days.

What about you? How do you switch off? How do you stop being, well, you…And should I send the children to the kids club for starters?




  • James Casserly Omaexlibris

    I think I read an article about this. Not being able to switch off is a sign of high intelligence, your mind is always working. Also, as you pointed out, being a mother & wife means you are “on duty” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Another question is, did you come from a strict religious background? As children we were always told things like, “The Devil makes work for idle hands”. Sitting, relaxing, just doing nothing were frowned upon. My mother always had jobs for us to do. So when you combine all that, it’s practically impossible to switch off. I wish I could give you some advice on how to do so, but I haven’t discovered this myself. I do hope you can enjoy your holiday though and get some “me” time and just enjoy yourself without thinking of others.

    • Spot on as usual, James! I was brought up in a Catholic family. Not a very strict one, but being idle was indeed frowned upon. Anyway, I am sure I will be fine. I just need to take it easy and go with the flow. I will get there. eventually!

    • disqus_72GXGq6drQ

      or a nervous breakdown by age 60

      • Well, you can’t be perfect all the time, right?

  • disqus_72GXGq6drQ

    So…you’ve spent a career working hard with a lot of mental effort, you have a family so no switching off worrying about kids etc, and now another career requiring more mental effort…therefore your normal state involves mentally working/thinking/watching kids…and rest is in fact dangerous for your family. Don’t you have a nanny? 🙂

    • I wish I did. But no, I don’t. There is a kids club, but my children don’t want to go. You see, it’s family time. The only me-time I have is my morning jog. Anyway, I will survive!

  • John B

    I saw a youtube video by a Thai monk about this subject recently, more or less (really a British monk living in Australia in a Thai branch of Buddhism):
    His general point was sometimes it’s best when struggling to just try and pause a little. I studied Buddhism for a long time but I don’t have tons of advice about this. Just relax. It helps to be more self-aware in general, not just of what you are doing but instead of how you are reacting to what you are doing. No need to make it all more difficult than it really is. Making that kind of folk-wisdom input work is kind of difficult, though.

    • Thanks for the link. I am getting a bit better. All I needed was a few days. Getting there. And then we will have to go back!

  • disqus_72GXGq6drQ

    Isn’t running part of your “me time”?

    • Running is indeed part of my ‘me time’, and I do it as often as I can.

  • John B

    in part what you said and that other video got me thinking about how this relates to Buddhism (one of my interests, that I write a blog about), and I wrote about that there: