Right now I should be glowing in smugness! Mask off. Bikini on. Flirting with the Icarian sunshine.
I’m sure you can guess by that write up that I’m not!
I’m currently sat at an airport hotel with a view that overlooks a cash cow of a car park. I still have the ‘obligatory’ airport beer because I am sometimes that person.
This morning I failed. It is the first time I’ve failed in this department before and after the initial shock and panic subsided, which was really quite quickly, I am feeling fine and buzzing with how quick I can bounce back from failure!
Enough of the vagueness, I’ll bring you up to speed.
I missed my 6.55am flight to Greece this morning. Everything was going so well. I sent the last work emails, put my out of office on, cleaned my apartment, watered the plants, packed (although judging from the weather forecast, not so well), got to the hotel at a decent time, had my dinner, went to bed early(ish), woke up early, did an exercise workout and got to the airport with time to spare.
I smile and tell the airline staff I was unable to book online as the booking company I went with had issues with their system. He looked into it and said as it wasn’t my fault he would waive the fee. All he needed was a QR code.
Me: QR code? I don’t have a QR code. I don’t know anything about a QR code.
Him: You need a QR code to be able to fly.
Me: Okay, how do I get one?
Him: You need to submit the form at least 24hrs before you fly. You won’t be able to fly today.
Him: I’m sorry
Me: But, but – is there no way I can. I wasn’t aware of it.
Him: Sorry it’s to do with the Greek government. There is nothing we can do. You can speak to my manager but he will say the same thing.
Me: Do you have flights tomorrow?
Him: Yes, you will need to book now and complete the form asap.
A few tears had started to form as I almost walked away from the check-in desk without my passport! I’m usually such a good traveler, but this time I didn’t do my due diligence or read the small print!
Allowing myself a moment to berate myself (and Covid19), calling myself a silly sausage and a wally chops. I got to work and booked another flight, completed the form I needed to, which FYI for anyone going to Greece is a ‘Passenger Locator Form’, and booked another night at an airport hotel.
So, here I am. Sat supping my pint. In a Holiday Inn. Wearing a jumper and trousers. Tapping away on my laptop. And I feel, I feel…..serene! Every part of my being knows this is the way that is should have panned out.
I see the airport failure as the final sign to slow down. To stop, to assess, to breath deeply and with purpose. If I wasn’t going to slow down by my own merit, the small print was going to be the brutal barrier that slapped me in the face.
At the beginning of this week my eye started to twitch. Something a few years ago I would have put down to tiredness and got on with my day whilst going to bed earlier. This time the fear set in as the last time I had an eye twitch it resulted in Bells Palsy – if you’re not aware of what happened to me last July you can read about it here: Giving half a smile to Bell’s Palsy!
No amount of exercise, going to bed earlier, meditating more, using eye drops and heated eye masks was stopping the twitching!
I have been adding plaster after plaster to heal the wound instead of focusing on what was causing the wound in the first place. Overwhelm and burning the candle at both ends had me feeling awash with dread, stress was knocking at my door and I allowed it to enter.
Today, having been forced to relax, something that I am not totally accustomed to, I’ve been able to assess my situation. For those of you that haven’t read other blog posts of mine, I often come to these revelations, promise change and soon default to a fast-paced over indulgent want it yesterday mode I called ‘life’. When in this mode I see ‘relaxing’ as a dirty word that whispers in my ear when no-one is looking: “you should be doing more”, “time is precious” and “what have you achieved?”
As I walked from the airport to the hotel, the cold reminding me that I’m still in England as the wheel of my suitcase squeaks and people walk past me excited for their holiday. I am calm. I know if I was in Greece right now I wouldn’t have had the reset I needed. I would have gone straight from the plane to being 1000 miles an hour playing catch up with my friend. That is still going to happen but it would have to wait a day. I had no choice but to let the small print decide.
It is more important now than it has been in the past that I get my priorities in order and learn to let go, say no and carve some well intended ‘relaxation’ time in. I start a 6 year part time open university course on the 3rd October. I need to find 16 hours a week to do this alongside a full-time job, maintaining friendships and still trying to navigate the dating world.
I don’t want my life to be one eye twitching ball of stress that I ‘manage’ to juggle. That is the epitome of a wasted life. Whilst in reassess mode, I need to revisit the boundaries I’ve set myself and enlarge the small print.
I am grateful for today. I’m grateful of the sleep I caught up on, the pages I read from my book, the nudge of what to write about in a blog post (first time in almost 4 months) and for sitting and doing nothing which has meant everything!
I know I’m not going to radically change. I’m a doer, an adventurer, a ‘Yes Man’. I’m someone who wants to be part of the action that FOMO was probably written about. I want to invite relaxation into the fold, to understand that when I am still, I can learn more about myself and let a new level of creativity seep in. To slow down and to do nothing is still very much a part of living. It’s a well-rounded full life and I’m all for that.
Right now I am on holiday – this photo I took isn’t the usual bog standard legs photo I was expecting to do but it means oh so much more!
My alarm is once again set for 4am. I’ll see you on the other side folks.
p.s. I’d love to hear other people’s stories of setbacks leading to revelations.