For a few months, I'd be noticing a look of sympathy every time my husband and I joked with friends about the coming weekend's engagements. But still, we liked to be busy. Then, the ultimate wak up call - I was pregnant! Slowly I began to realise that what we'd been scathingly calling 'admin' over a particularly busy few months, other people called 'life'.
Chiva Som in Thailand, famed for de-stressing and detoxing celebs from Kylie to the Beckhams, seems the ultimate place to take stock. At first, we were simply ecstatic at having 'compulsory' daily massages in our diaries, not to mention a virtually deserted pool. While the pampering vibe made us more than at ease floating around in our bathrobes, the serious approach from the white-coated consultants instillled a real determination to change.
Enlightenment, though, doesn't happen on demand. "You might as well say you want to stop your heart from beating!" guffawed the former monk in my meditation class, when I asked how to turn off that middle of the night mind chatter.
My most rewarding session, however, was with The Life Change People. While I'd never thought of myself as a perfectionist, pyschologist Chrissy's analysis that a compulsive part of my personality means I keep going back to things again and again, had me wondering if I'd warped the childhood encouragement to 'always do your best' into a more punishing 'you can always so more'. While, she said, it waas a trait that no doubt helped in my career, it wasn't going to work in motherhood.
"There's no such thing as a perfect mum," she warned. I needed to let go of my expectations.
One-on-one outdoor yoga sessions and low-key meals all encouraged more of this honest introspection and gradually we realised that while we'll always enjoy being busy, even the highest of highs can lose its lustre when you're merely lurching from one to the next.
About to embark on one of life's big journeys, we resolved to be more discerning about how we spend our time. Back home, life still revolves around to-do lists, but these days, 'time-out' is often at the top.
READER OFFER Essential Escapes is offering readers a 7 night package at Chiva Som from £3115 per person based on two sharing an Ocean View room, including a complimentary upgrade to a Thai Pavilion and Chiva-Som spa haven Body Cocoon treatment. It also includes three Chiva Som spa cuisine meals per day, health and wellness consultation, daily massage, use of the water therapy suites, dialy fitness and leisure activities, return international flights and return private transfers.