So another concert postponed until next year - this time Michael Buble playing in Bath Crescent (supposed to be last Friday). My 2021 calendar is already looking super full!
I am hoping to get away for the first week of September to Venice, as Italy seems to be the only country at the moment where there's no issues either end of travelling. Fingers and toes crossed! This will be a new country for me coming in at my 42nd..
I have taken some gigantic leaps in my grief journey this week and pretty monumental ones at that. I don't realise how much things are weighing me down, until I start to get moving.
I've ordered a new bed, given the last of Colin's clothes to charity and deleted all of our text messages which have been sat on my phone for the last 3 years. It felt the right time and it felt ok to do these things. In fact, I would go so far as to say these things were hindering me from moving forward. We all move at different paces whilst grieving, but I have noticed within myself recently that it can feel like I am trying to sabotage myself.
Hurray! I've finally had a haircut and new colours! Anything to help me feel more alive.
In yoga last week I learned about how we store emotions in our hips and doing lots of hip poses can release all of the negativity we're feeling. The hips and pelvis are also the centre for creativity. Aligning with the second chakra, they represent among other things, creative energy. This is what we worked on in class and it did help me focus less on my depression and more on being creative. I am fascinated by the different chakras and how they line up with the body. This is something we're going to explore more of in my 1-2-1 sessions.
I have been trying to finish my bio for work, but because I haven't had any travel inspiration this year and I've been struggling with fatigue and pain, it's been very difficult to find the energy to get motivated. Anyhoooo, after yoga, interestingly it massively helped - and I did it!
So, here goes:
My career in travel spans over 20 years and I have had some of the most wonderful and some of the most downright bizarre experiences around the world. I remember turning up in Tripoli airport (Libya) and being the only female going through Security. The authorities looked me up and down in disbelief and then started to laugh, eventually waving me through. It was 5 days into my trip before my guide explained to me that on my visa it read "Builder" - a mistake by the Libyan Embassy in London!
My dream is to visit all 190 odd countries in my lifetime. A chunk of my early experience was in adventure travel specifically within Africa and the Middle East, before I moved into a more worldwide role here at Trailfinders, tailor-making a variety of holiday experiences all over the globe. Having so much choice at my fingertips to offer my clients is amazing and being able to personally build memorable experiences for them, whatever the occasion, is a real thrill.
I've danced with the Zulus, studied ancient bush craft with the San, sat with the Maasai and wild camped with the Bedouin - but if I had to pick a favourite travel moment, I'd struggle. I've taken incredible trips to iconic cities, stayed in beautiful hotels, celebrated festivals, sampled the delights of turning left onboard the aircraft and lazed with a good book on pure white island beaches, I've soared high above Victoria Falls and got soaking wet under Niagara Falls. I've stood on top of South Africa's Table Mountain, been in the places where oceans meet, trekked up volcanoes and boarded down volcanoes in the Central Americas. Going deep inside a pyramid was a childhood dream come true, as was floating in the Dead Sea, and the Taj Mahal and Petra captivated me for hours...
Travel is education and there is still a lot of exploring to enjoy!
It is very depressing to me that I have become a person who has to judge the productivity of her day by how much pain and fatigue she is feeling. How many spoons have I got today? (I love the above tee by the way). It also gets me down when I am too exhausted and in too much discomfort to have the capability to employ my toolbox of self soothing techniques. Especially necessary after a busy day of working, or attending appointments, or of doing jobs and chores around the home and garden. I am trying my hardest to continue living a regular, ordinary life as best I can, whilst trading off, pacing and attempting to be kinder to myself, but it is a 24/7 job and there's no switching off.
So this past week, as I predicted, I ended up in a flare up and it's been horrible. And yes, as my counsellor said to me today, I stuck two fingers up to Fibromyalgia and didn't listen to my body, carrying on regardless... and a flare up will always be the outcome. Just as I struggled to accept Colin had died, I also struggle to accept this is my life now.
There is no short (or even long) answer as to how best to manage with chronic pain and extreme fatigue. This last week, I used a bad coping strategy of pills and alcohol for two days just to numb myself and make myself sleep and then I got back on track. I know I should never have got to the point of a flare up, but it's going to happen. Pulling myself round this time, I did low energy projects where I could sit down and stretch, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation before sleep, more green and colour in my diet and I've been checking in with myself throughout each day. And, I've booked to have a catch up with my Dr.
Maintaining good mental and physical health is a continuum.
Recovery is a continuum.
I wish there was an end destination to both, some glorious magic pill, but sadly there isn't.
So... I continued my "working like a crazy" streak during the last week of my 3 week staycation, albeit pacing myself a little better decorating at my mum's and sticking with my wellbeing appointments... and now I feel absolutely whacked. Commuting back to the office for work at the weekend also required a big shift in gears.
I think all in all, I accomplished a lot and I feel really good about that, but I'm interested to see how much I crash, bang and wallop this coming week. The fatigue is already kicking my butt - tiredness on top of tiredness despite trying to get to bed a little earlier and I am nervous about depression creeping up on me again.
Did I tell you Fibromyalgia is rubbish?
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.