The crazy exodus of Cork for London has been and gone. We made it. We made it to see Hamilton, and a night in our gorgeous hotel – although we didn’t have all the time in London that we’d originally planned for sight-seeing and all that malarky. In the end it was a short, but really nice break. I’m surprised how refreshed I feel from even just one night of uninterrupted sleep. I should probably make sleep a priority.
I’m feeling kind of annoyed with myself. I feel like I’ve fought a week-long battle with myself. Struggling to prepare for an accept disappointment whilst at the same time attempting to harbour hope and prepare to potentially fly out after all.
I’d love to self-describe as a “go with the flow” kind of person, and intellectually I believe that’s a really healthy way to be (so long as you’re not so “go with the flow” that you end up flaking out on other people and letting them down, etc.), and I can certainly talk myself into a “que sera sera” mindset, but I rarely believe it at the time. It takes work. I get attached to viewpoints and plans and I don’t adjust well to changes – even changes that ultimately don’t matter, let alone huge big expensive changes.
Take our new house, for example. It’s not fully planned yet, and even some of the stuff that is going into the design will be changeable after planning has been approved – basically at this point in time it. does. not. matter. But I got attached to stuff in the very first draft of the design, stuff I hadn’t asked for, stuff I didn’t care about until I met it. And then I resented small changes and really had to struggle to adapt to the new version. Now that I’ve sold myself on the new version I know I’ll have the same internal struggle with new changes in the future.
Now that’s dealing with stuff that’s passed. I have difficulty enough adapting to that kind of thing, but when it comes to uncertainty about the future…? I can barely handle it.
The anxiety I felt from Wednesday through to Saturday afternoon was intense and all-consuming and an absolute and complete waste of time. It was as if I felt like I could somehow manipulate the end result of things by paying enough attention.
Interestingly there is one area where that was true – if I hadn’t cancelled and rebooked our flight when I did, then we wouldn’t have flown yesterday – because if we’d waited for the airline to rebook us on “the next available flight” it would have been too late to make the show. But would that have been the disaster I felt? Was my fear even about missing the show or was it about being out of control, of having my plans messed with.
The time I spent fretting and obsessively checking weather reports would have been wasted time regardless of the final outcome. If we hadnt got to travel in the end, then what the hell was I doing wasting all that time worrying about it. We did get to go in the end and I was so fraught and exhausted by the time we left that I forgot my phone and pajamas.
I got my head back on well enough to truly enjoy our trip but how much more did I pay – how much more did I make everyone around me pay – in additional emotional cost for this journey.
Too much. The cost is too much. And I don’t really know how to change myself.
Aeroplanes scare me. I mean travelling by air scares me. And it’s the same thing all over again with fear of an uncontrolled future. Look, I know the stats – how it’s statistically the safest mode of travel and all that. But I feel like there’s something I could do in the event of a car crash or boat sinking. I feel like there’s a way for me to control the outcome for myself – for a single family or individual to survive and for that individual or family to be me or mine.
I managed to not get completely wound up in stupid fear at the take off of this flight (I’m typing on the plane back to Cork), but I’m tired and I have tools to distract me and all that kind of good stuff. I want to choose to not get panicked and obsessed by the future for every next time but right now I feel no guarantees about that at all. Just the opposite.
I think I can figure it out. I just need to keep practicing.