At the beginning of May it was my friends 40th Birthday and her husband decided to surprise her with a party. When he called me in February to invite me along and explain his plan, I leapt at the opportunity of spending a weekend in Bournemouth with my best friend and a group of great people with whom I knew I would laugh plenty and party hard. A weekend of pure self-indulgence: girly chats, meals out and fantastic shopping. A little treat to myself after all, we all deserve a little something!
When the day of departure came I was so excited and grinning from ear to ear in anticipation of the weekend that lay ahead of me. And what a weekend we had! It was fantastic and lived up to all my expectations. On Sunday evening I said thank you and goodbye in preparation of my return home very early Monday morning. I wanted to get back into the bosom of my family with its daily routines.
On Monday at 6.00am I checked the airline website, just before I left for the airport, to discover my flight had been cancelled due to the ‘Ash Cloud.’ Argghh! With a weekend of excessiveness behind me I was not in the right frame of mind to be dealing with this kind of drama! I followed the instructions on the website with regard to re-booking but to no avail. I could not get another flight out of Bournemouth until the following Friday.
The stress and panic began to hit me. Oh, I had work appointments for the forthcoming week and as a mum of two, I became concerned about the children’s needs, but also more than anything I wanted to get home. What next! This irritation turned from worry, to frustration, and finally into mild anger and even tears. Over a period of six hours I was getting more and more stressed. I ran through all the alternatives to get me home: trains, buses, ferries, hitchhiking, rowing boat…only joking! I needed to take some mild breaths to calm down.
Then it dawned on me that the only person panicking was me. My husband didn’t mind, my clients didn’t mind, my boss wouldn’t notice and my two children are clever enough to look after the dog and my husband. I had money to spend. So what was the problem?
I decided to take the opportunity to spend a few days with my brother and his family and fly back from another airport later in the week. It would be a twin-centred holiday…fabulous.
Now I had a plan. I suddenly felt lighter and again in control. My initial reaction to my little drama now appeared excessive even a little ridiculous. Why do we do this? I guess it is all about making a decision and having a plan. When you know what you are doing and how you are going to achieve it, then life is much more fun. Be flexible and look to find the best in every situation. Sometimes you might need a friend or counsellor to help you see these other more positive alternatives. Don’t be afraid to ask. Remember, it will only be a problem if you want it to be.
I hope my husband sees it that way when I tell him I spent an extra €250 on shopping and wine! (No need; he reads the Gazette – you’re doomed! – Ed)