The last few weeks have been pretty hectic; we’re very busy at work in the factory, at home the housing association are renovating our kitchen and bathroom (both at the same time) and I’ve been racing up and down the country bringing my eldest son and all his belongings home from university for the summer.
It has been exciting, frustrating, chaotic and exhausting. How many times have I told other people to look after themselves? So easy to say, so hard to do.
I have enjoyed the challenges, loved the people, been fascinated by the changes and overwhelmed by the kindness of colleagues, friends and family.
A part of me feels bad that I need to take time out to be alone in a quiet, calm space. It feels selfish somehow and some people find it very hard to understand. It’s just the way I’m made. I need time to slow down and sort out my thoughts, relax and recharge 🙂
While I was racing up and down the country last week I took the opportunity to visit two beautiful beaches; Goodrington in Devon and St. Ives in Cornwall.
Beaches are a bit of a mixed blessing for me: I love the beautiful scenery, fascinating wildlife and soothing sound of the ocean, but I’m terrified of water … well, of drowning really …. anything more than a bath full is a bit of a challenge.
I have always felt like I was missing out a bit; I love the idea of swimming in cool, clear water on a hot day or cruising up a river or out to sea, watching the wildlife and soaking up the atmosphere …. I’m not entirely sure why I panic, but I am working on a plan …
Last year I managed to enjoy two trips on fairly big tourist boats, one in Plymouth around the Tamar estuary, and a slightly smaller one in Torquay for a trip around Torbay. On both occasions I went alone and spent a lot of time planning how I was going to achieve my goal, watching other people enjoying their trips before trying it for myself.
Sadly, when our lovely boss took us punting for a surprise team building day I panicked at the waterside and didn’t manage to get into the boat. It all happened too fast, there were too many people watching me, too much pressure … I am disappointed with myself and even more determined to overcome this thing!
And I have a plan: the very slowest, gentlest course of exposure therapy…
I took another baby step on the way last week when I was driving up and down the country collecting my son:
I only got a couple of hours at each of those beautiful beaches last week, but it all counts …. every time I go I get a little bit closer to the water and stay just a little bit longer. I get to see other people doing the things I want to do and learn how to cope with unfamiliar situations. On Goodrington beach I even managed to walk on wet sand, quite close to the waves … that’s quite a big step from the concrete promenade that I usually stick to.
By the end of the summer I want to be able to get my feet in the sea and have a ride in another boat so I get more used to the feeling. This old woman is still toddling on …. one day she will run free 🙂