I was tempted…
…to title this post “You know…” but even I think that would have been pushing it.
It would also appear that I have started to fall back into my old slovenly ways of leaving this blog to lie fallow for extended periods of time. Or at least a month in this particular case.
However, I do have an excuse, honest! As Glenda has already reported on her blog, we’ve been away on holiday, grabbing ourselves a bit of welcome (and much needed) R&R.
The astute amongst you will already have noted that we obviously had Internet access while away on our travels (otherwise how did Glenda manage to update her blog all the time, eh?) So why was I persistently conspicuous by my absence?
Well, I did have the best of intentions and meant to do a bit of blogifying as well. I really did! But I kept getting distracted by sitting watching the sea and the birds and the weather and the passing CalMac ferry and the sea again and more birds and…
And then I got distracted by reading books and magazines and stuff.
And then I got distracted by going out with Glenda and visiting lovely places like Ullapool, Gairloch, Poolewe and a couple of nice local beaches that we found that were ideal for walking and kite-flying and even plodging (on one of the amazingly scorching days during the second week).
And, before I knew it, we were on the way home.
And, before I had the chance to get used to that, we were on the way back again to rescue a wedding ring.
And then we really were home and settling back into the old routine at work.
So, before I knew it, we found ourselves here today, a whole month out from my last meaningless ramblings in blog-land.
It’s also a bit of a weird day for me. As regular followers of this blog and Glenda’s will know, the last two or three years have had their rough moments for us. We’ve had our fair share of personal losses and troublesome times. Which is why the holiday was important to us both. It’s a while since we had any time off that was purely and simply “holiday”. Most of our trips abroad in the last few years were business-related and, even though we usually promised ourselves that we would take an extra few days to have a break, we never really ended up doing it. There was always too much going on back home – both at the office and in terms of taking care of my parents – that we couldn’t really afford the extra time away. So holidays sort of went on the back burner.
Which is why this latest trip was so welcome and, as it turned out, so wonderful. I think it gave us both a chance to slow down a bit and come to terms with some of the stuff that has happened in the last couple of years. And that’s important. In fact, if there is one lesson that I have learned in my life, it is that we all need some time to reflect upon and deal with all the stuff that modern life throws at us. And one of the best ways to do that – perhaps the very best of all – is to get away from it all to somewhere beautiful and peaceful where you can just slow down, take it easy for a while and find the time to gather all your thoughts and feelings and work your way through them. I think it is Socrates who is credited with the saying “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Of course, that was probably referring as much to questioning and examining the world around you as it does to examining your own internal world. But it applies equally well to both. Clever bloke, Socrates.
Anyway, today is slightly funny for me as it would have been my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 81 today. And it’s just over eight months since I held his hand and soothed his brow as he died.
I miss him.
But I have such wonderful memories of a wonderful man. I have been so lucky in my life and, for all the occasional hardships and sadnesses that we all face, I know that I have been and continue to be blessed in so many ways. And having the chance to sit in a nice house for a couple of weeks, looking out towards an occasionally wild, but always beautiful, North Atlantic while gathering my thoughts and putting them into some kind of order was, indeed, a blessing. I’m very grateful for it.
And for any of you out there who are going through hard times at the moment – or are just coming to the end of them – just remember to give yourself some time and space to get it all straight again. You can do it. You just need to give yourself a chance.