“Simon hugging a palm tree, Simon hugging a palm tree, palm tree, palm tree”! that was my anchor thought. An ‘anchor thought’ I was told (after trauling through you tube videos of ‘How to overcome your fear of flying’) is a good way of tricking your mind out of its fearful thought processes. Each time a worry comes you go to your anchor thought, something that your looking forward to at the end of the journey, and boy was I looking forward to Simon seeing his first Palm Tree.
Single motherhood was a tough journey. I somehow managed to keep a family going, a house, a car, there was always food on the table, but holidays? probably desperately needed but not easily afforded. Add in a long standing fear of flying and the kind of holidays that many take for granted, were not easily acheived.
Simon on the other hand doesnt have a fear of flying. He loves it, but although he has occasionally been on a short flight he has never had the priveledge of an all singing, all dancing holiday in a warm climate with yes youve guessed it….PALM TREES GALORE!
So off we went, me tightly holding a hand either side, anchor thoughts, earphones with soothing music, a bag of sweets, a notepad and pen (repeatedly writing your name with your non dominant hand is also a way of tricking your mind out of its worries especially during turbulence) a book, and hey presto 4 hours later, we arrived! Yes we got there safely, and I even watched out of the window as we landed. A first for sure.
Its over 20 years since I last flew. Maybe the years have changed my worries, maybe not doing it alone made a lot of difference, these shoulders can only carry so much ‘baggage’ after all. Maybe it was the myriad of rescue remedies I had in place whilst setting myself up for success, or maybe my mind is just in a more relaxed place. Maybe…well does it really matter, we did it and Simon got to see his palm trees and no one deserved it more.
Over the last few years he has watched other family members travelling, seen endless holiday photos on facebook and watched ‘Love Island’ on tv. At last it was his time, and maybe mine too.
Last year due to a low period, Simon lost a lot of weight. I guess there is nothing like an all inclusive holiday to gain some health and strength back. The freedom of going back and forth helping himself to whatever his heart (and stomach) desired was certainly a novel experience, a joy to watch and “Mum its all free”. Well maybe not, but it did seem like that to him.
Waking up to a glorious sunrise and feeling the warmth all around us, with nothing to do and all day to do it in, was certainly a tonic. Sadly I went down with a virus on the second day but it didnt stop me from soaking up the suns rays and perching at a bar while still sitting in the water. An experience to be savoured and remembered for sure.
If I had endless pots of money I would give a gift of a holiday to all the single parents and carers I know, or to the ‘Simons’ of this world who through no fault of their own miss out on special times like this.
My boy got to see his palm trees and I got to climb my own mountain. Thankfully not only did we arrive safely at our destination but we also made it safely home, now we just have to adjust to the dark rainy days ahead in good ol England, but with some great memories made.
Missed you all and glad to be reuinited with the blogosphere again.
Love Alison x