I am here

10 Aug 2022
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Here I am, sitting at a cute cafe with my laptop, a cappuccino and a glass of ice cold water. The beach is four metres away. It’s a small, stony, beautiful beach, full of children and parents and grandparents and lovers and friends. Multi coloured parasols protect most body parts on most people. Some, like me, have moved away from the lunchtime sun and are having a drink or a coffee in this shaded cafe. Do I smell chips? That ice-cream looks yum! I look out towards the sea and I see my son, splashing about in the pure clear water, climbing a rock and jumping in, pencil style. I wave in his direction though he won’t see me. He looks happy and I, in a sudden moment of self-awareness, realise that I too feel happy. Happy. Content. Mindful. I am here.

I had resisted this holiday. I always resist a holiday. My work is freelance so there is no ‘taking a week or two off’. This has made me indecisive over the years. Others call me spontaneous as I tend to book two or three days to go somewhere at the last minute. But, in reality, that way of holidaying is stressy and expensive plus my teens complain that we never have a ‘holiday plan’ like their friends do. This year I allowed myself to be nudged to take the holiday plunge. It did feel like jumping off a high rock. The truth is I experienced pangs of anxiety when we were booking the flights and the accommodation. Nine nights away is the longest holiday I’ve had in… forever! The ‘what-ifs’ were flying through my frazzled brain. All the work deadlines what-ifs of course but also health what-ifs and safety what-ifs and many what-if it all goes wrong and we drive each other mad what-ifs and…what do I do with our dog and what-if there is an emergency and… yes, I over-think every single thing which is why I don’t do this… but here I am.

And it’s wonderful. We brought our snorkels and we can see small, tiny and big fish swimming around us, we are languishing on the beach and exploring the city, we watched the beautiful sunset last night, we are eating nice food in little cafes but we also splashed out and dined in a fancy restaurant with a stunning view. I am working - I have my laptop and I am meeting my deadlines but it feels different - calmer, lighter, freer.  I am (way) out of my comfort zone. And it feels good. To those who nudged me, thank you.

Now I’m going to join my son in the sea… perhaps have a little jump off that rock.

I am here. 

Salt Water Mum

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Sarah yellow rose

Aug. 11, 2022, 6:13 a.m.

Hi SWM, thank you for your blog. I’m pleased you decided to have a holiday. I can relate to “the what if”thoughts. You are creating wonderful memories which will be treasured xx

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:12 a.m.

Thank you SYR, that's my hope too - memories to be cherished, something we all want to pass onto our children x

Chris

Aug. 11, 2022, 6:25 a.m.

Perhaps as what I take from this is as human beings we only truly prosper when we evolve. I think evolving means experiencing new experiences bit by bit. Expose yourself to too much too quickly and anxiety is not too far behind but expose yourself to, too little or not evolve at all and you fall into a rut. Life is a balance and it is knowing what is the correct amount to push yourself It sounds like you are truly relishing having pushed yourself I hope you enjoy your holiday with your sons

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:14 a.m.

thank you Chris and you are so right 'life is a balance and it is knowing what is the correct amount to push yourself'. And it turns out I need a bit of a push or a nudge! x

Anonymous

Aug. 11, 2022, 7:59 a.m.

Such a lovely, gorgeously written blog, thank you. I hope the word ‘languishing’ was used erroneously, however - can’t bear the idea of this (well-deserved) holiday actually weakening you… I hope that this word wasn’t intentionally used, and that these precious moments of contentment are soothing and enriching, fortifying your spirit… Thank you for a beautiful, evocative and inspiring blog. :-)

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:21 a.m.

Oh my lords Anonymous, you are absolutely right! 'Languishing' is the wrong word entirely! You see I love the sound of the word, and so for me, it conjures up the complete opposite - I meant 'relaxing and luxuriating' on the beach... how perceptive are you to notice that. And you're right, soothing and enriching are exactly the words and yes, thankfully, my spirit has been fortified (short term but... I'll take it!) x

Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:23 p.m.

Ahhhhhh I can't stop thinking about how I misused the word 'languishing'!! I really meant luxuriating :-))))

The Gardener

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:07 a.m.

Lovely SWM, enjoy every moment. I am also here, as intended, after a pretty challenging journey. A son also here, i.e in same country, success story this week, he is my chauffeur tomorrow for journey to wedding. River lovely, awful racket because they are mending the railway bridge. I learned to snorkel off the Thousand Islands - bliss, love to go to sea again. Have a wonderful time, you'v earned it. xx

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:23 a.m.

Wooohooo how lovely that your son is there with you TG, enjoy the wedding tomorrow x

Valerie

Aug. 11, 2022, 9:39 a.m.

Have a great time TG.I know it will be bittersweet.Hugs ***

Sue

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:18 a.m.

What a lovely blog, SWM, glad you are enjoying your break. It has been so stressful to even think about going abroad this year we haven't yet, so I appreciate the anxiety beforehand but it sounds like it was worth it. And it is good that you can keep an eye on your work, but not let it rule the day.

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:25 a.m.

Thank you Sue. I hope you do get a holiday soon. That's a great expression about work: '...not let it rule the day', exactly that, thank you x

Sally

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:21 a.m.

Hurray! Well done for doing the holiday, getting there despite the myriad “What if’s”. I’d have been exactly the same. It is an obstacle you have overcome and can hold up proudly in a virtual high five! It is written deliciously, I can almost hear the ripple of the water , the sounds around on the beach, and recall our beach holidays over the years. Always France, Italy once, mostly good weather. Strangely enough, I was reading bits of a holiday I’d written in 2013 in a journal aloud to my OH as we were driving to the shops yesterday, and it has evoked such pleasant that I think we will have a French / Italian holiday next summer . A bit of beach, near a town I can mooch in, sketchbook and art materials with me. Anticipation is (nearly) everything!

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:27 a.m.

Thanks Sally and how lovely to keep a journal, happy holidays memories written down, I love that. V exciting to plan your holiday for next year - I love 'having a mooch' too :-)) x

Daisy

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:34 a.m.

Beautiful!

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:24 p.m.

Thank you, Daisy x

Ach UK

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:50 a.m.

Hi SWM, So glad to hear you " took the plunge "! And what a lovely time you seem to have had.. I could do with the seaside at the mo, jumping in sounds wonderful great way to cool off. I had breakfast in my garden but now retire indoors to cool north facing dining room. :-)) - wilting . . . I find organising holidays a real faff and procrastinate for weeks before the due date which then means a scramble to get away. This year booked holiday at Dover Castle 3 months ahead and a month before started packing lol, and you know it definitely helped. :-)) Resolving to remember two strategies to minimise FOFU . . . ." Just do it !" and " Keep it Simple, Stupid" I hope you will feel you can do it again. XX Ach.

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:22 p.m.

Good strategies Ach! Thank you x

Ach UK

Aug. 11, 2022, 8:50 a.m.

Hi SWM, So glad to hear you " took the plunge "! And what a lovely time you seem to have had.. I could do with the seaside at the mo, jumping in sounds wonderful great way to cool off. I had breakfast in my garden but now retire indoors to cool north facing dining room. :-)) - wilting . . . I find organising holidays a real faff and procrastinate for weeks before the due date which then means a scramble to get away. This year booked holiday at Dover Castle 3 months ahead and a month before started packing lol, and you know it definitely helped. :-)) Resolving to remember two strategies to minimise FOFU . . . ." Just do it !" and " Keep it Simple, Stupid" I hope you will feel you can do it again. XX Ach.

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Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 11, 2022, 9:44 a.m.

Oh SWM - not only am I jealous (in a good way) of wherever it is you find yourself and family, but because you did it! You managed to book the holiday and there you are - basking by a glittery sea with a little bit of working, but mostly, enjoying the time people-watching and looking at your son having a fabulous time - I am however, green-with-envy-jealous of the swimming in the sea and jumping off the rocks!!! I hope you did it and do it again and again and just keep living this life on holiday, for it passes so quickly. Sounds like the perfect plan to be honest: to keep your worrying brain happy, you’ve brought your laptop so you can meet deadlines…but you’ve got the time to sit back and watch, listen, smell and feast on the colours and people, feel and see the joy. I’m so happy for you - it’s just what you need - perfect and you’re making time for a blog and replies!! No in the nicest possible way - go and leave Moodscope alone, and enjoy the rest of the family and YOU time. Restore, refresh, replenish yourself. We’d love a holiday to wherever - abroad or in the U.K. - a break will do us good! Love and Bear hugs x x x

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:33 a.m.

Thank you kind Bear x (I will take your advice and check again tonight - after I say hi to Val :-)) )

Valerie

Aug. 11, 2022, 9:45 a.m.

For self-employed it can be very hard to switch off and enjoy a holiday.There's no holiday pay for starters.It is great to read this,a reminder that mental illness can run alongside times of pure joy and fun.It was worth pushing yourself.Big hugs ***

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:38 a.m.

Exactly - Thanks hon x

Teg

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:12 a.m.

Hi SWM Salt Water Mum at the seaside! It sounds idyllic and apart from a few envious twinges I am really pleased you are feeling so happy. Sometimes we need to forget all the "what ifs" and go for it. Your Post is like receiving a huge version of a holiday postcard. Your spirits are lifted and you have also raised the moods of thousands of others. Brilliant! Savour every moment and lock the memories away for future retrieval. Thanks for setting a beautiful summers scene. One last thought; have a drink "on the rocks!" Txx

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:39 a.m.

'holiday postcard' - love it :-) x

Orangeblossom

Aug. 11, 2022, 12:07 p.m.

Hi SWM, many thanks for the blog. It sounds very enjoyable. Hope that you continue to have a restful & fun-filled time away. In her book ‘’Wintering,’.Katherine May recommends rest & relaxation.

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:20 p.m.

Thanks Ob :-) I don't know that book - lovely title x

G

Aug. 11, 2022, 2:21 p.m.

Sounds perfect, enjoy every moment! You describe your experience so well. Next time you plan to go away, read this blog and you will be there in a shot! Well done :-)

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:25 p.m.

What an excellent idea - to read this blog the next time I am contemplating a hols... thank you G x

Brum Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 2:58 p.m.

Hello SWM I knew it was you. We’re away too and the challenge of going away with my ex and kids. After last year I said I would never do it again but the weather here is perfect and we’ve tried lots of new things including paddle boarding for the kids. A lovely afternoon just my daughter and I in an indoor pool. Thanks for the reminder to switch off too!! Xx

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Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 11, 2022, 4:37 p.m.

Brum, I’m glad you have also managed to get away - enjoy each lovely moment with the children and this wonderful weather on the water ;-)* Bear xx

Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:27 p.m.

Delighted you are away too Brum Mum :-) wow and with your ex too, I am so impressed. My teens loves paddle boarding - I like sitting and kneeling on the board, standing not so much!! x

Patty

Aug. 11, 2022, 2:58 p.m.

I So enjoyed your blog. It just takes me there. I'm glad you're having such a wonderful time and that you took the plunge to go even with the what ifs. Enjoy your time with your family.

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:27 p.m.

Thanks a mill Patty x

Jane

Aug. 11, 2022, 3:20 p.m.

Just so lovely! Thank you for this post -- like a little oasis in my day.

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:28 p.m.

A little oasis, I love that Jane x

the room above the garage

Aug. 11, 2022, 6:08 p.m.

Ah lovely! So glad you are having a great holiday and I now feel I’m there too! Love ratg xx

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 11, 2022, 10:28 p.m.

Kind as always, thanks Room x

Jul

Aug. 12, 2022, 6:50 a.m.

Hello SWM Sorry I didn't reply yesterday. I read your lovely blog before we set off home and we arrived late here. Well done for taking the plunge and just doing it. Your holiday will be even more idyllic because of all your doubts and worries beforehand. I love getting away from reality even for a couple of days. I never look forward to going home again but I am surprised by how much I appreciate home afterwards. Jul xx

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Teg

Aug. 12, 2022, 7:24 a.m.

Hi Jul I find that if I can discover some contentment I don't want it to end. I fear my next destination/activity may be less pleasing. Txx

Jul

Aug. 12, 2022, 10:38 a.m.

Hi Teg I'm glad (I was going to say "someone"!) has seen my late comment . Thank you. I agree about discovering some contentment and not wanting it to end. We travel a lot as you know. We have a house in Normandy and a little cottage in Spain which we rarely visit these days as it's difficult to get there. I have never wanted to stay in one place with nowhere to escape to. Do you go on holidays or away for a weekend or short break anywhere? Jul xx

Salt Water Mum

Aug. 12, 2022, 11:21 a.m.

Hi jul, hi Teg Little cottage in Spain sounds so lovely :-)) X

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Nicco

Aug. 12, 2022, 3:38 p.m.

SWM I'm glad you & your children are enjoying the holiday. By thinking in the positive ways you've stated you are making new neural pathways in your brain so that you remember how good it was the next time you come to choose to plan a holiday. I empathise with the 'what ifs' thou as my brain always rushes ahead thinking of all the possible pitfalls & disasters that could possibly happen - & that's not even on a holiday but if I have to go anywhere outside of my own front door. This part of my personality, I think, arose because of the trauma & subsequent ptsd, & has seem to have gotten worse the older I've got - lockdown & the pandemic didn't help it none. I have to rein my thoughts in, engage the breathing exercises, & somehow convince my body & brain that danger is not imminent, that peace & calm can prevail if I choose - not always easy. I can plan, but the energy needed to physically organise & get to the destination usually takes a big toll on my energy & pain levels so I tend to avoid long journeys if possible. Enjoy the rest of your stay. Nicco.

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Salt Water Mum

Aug. 15, 2022, 8:15 a.m.

Thanks so much Nicco :-)) I understand what you mean about the energy needed to cope with the physical & emotional stress and worry but I hope you do manage a short journey soon - if and when you feel up to it x

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Aug. 15, 2022, 10:04 a.m.

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