Wild card

As anyone who has read my blog will know, I am not a huge fan of social media.

There are lots of reasons for this, but the main one is the amount of unhappiness it causes – people are very brave behind the security of a screen. Friendships and families have been torn apart by a thoughtless post. I’m also not keen on the attention seeking and the down-right boring – I don’t need to see a picture of the sandwich you are about to eat.

However, in this digital age, I am very aware that I am missing out on information and shared resources for work.

And maybe, just maybe, one of my friends has explained the benefits of a private profile enough for me to set one up.

I have Facebook friends but know none of these people. I have no one from my area and no one in my family. I have used a variation of my real name. I have not set a location. But I have joined groups for things I am interested in: books, history, castles, my favourite dog breed.

So far so good. I like reading about people’s lives from around the world. It has made my own world that little bit bigger.

And then I received a message on Messenger. And my goodness was he cute. And single.

We have been chatting for a couple of weeks now too, and it has moved into video chats.

I don’t believe this will ever be any more than what it is, but my, I like talking to him. I like the way he looks at me when we talk. I like the way my stomach turns at his smile.

But he’s a million miles away. In every sense of that phrase.

When I am being silly, I allow my thoughts drift on possibilities. The romantic sensibilities of a literature teacher come into full force. People do meet over Facebook – I was speaking to a fellow female GSD lover who told me that she was Russian and her husband was Nigerian. They met on Facebook.

Equally, I am well aware that people are not always what they seem. And in addition to that are the difficulties and challenges of different cultures.

It began as flirting does. An interest in the other person. A distraction to prevent me from getting too attached to ‘Second the Best’. To keep me grounded in the moment and the simplicity of conversation.

But the more I see him and speak to him, the harder it is becoming to fight those sensibilities.

How can I be failing already with my own, new philosophy on dating??

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Beating the cold

In my previous post, I was mainly negative. Sorry about that.

Other than the work issue, I have felt more positive this last week or so.

Whether this is related or not I’m not sure, but I’ve actually booked three holidays. Yes, I know, three.

The first booked is for April. My friend has a gorgeous self-renovated French cottage which she has generously offered for me and my family. Add some really cheap Ryanair flights and half decent car rental and there you go! I’ve never been abroad alone with my children but I’m going for it. Life’s too short, and I want some wonderful memories for my children.

Next booked is a weekend away at half term with my walking friend. We’ve had some fantastic days out and weekends away until she weirded out on me last summer. We’ll, I’ve finally given in to her suggestions and we’re going to the Lakes in February and staying in an Airbnb cottage. I’ve never used them before but they’re certainly cheaper. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only do people make mistakes but they deserve a second chance too. She has been a fantastic friend to me and we have fun. I’m just going to remember that she sometimes lets me down and that no one is perfect. I’m going to try to not take that by heart.

Then this week, in a flurry of excitement, I have booked to go to Austria with the new friend I made last February. She lives in Ireland and we had a fantastic trip to the Lakes last summer. We have so much in common and get on really well. I am sooo excited about this trip. I’ve always wanted to go to Austria, but my inspiration came from a blog post:

https://wp.me/p1lnBZ-axX

We will be staying in Innsbruck – another fab Airbnb deal – but are planning trips to Seefeld, Salzburg and more. We love culture and museums, mountains trees and lakes and will be in our element.

It’s also given me a real incentive to get fit and healthy. I want to experience everything there and that’s means lots of walking. I don’t want to be the fat woman who is slowing my friend down.

I’m searching and planning positivity in my life, and it feels good. 😁

Anxiety

This time tomorrow I will be boarding a plane to Prague.

It’s exciting – yes. I’ve not been there before, there’s eight of us ladies and plenty of time to sightsee, shop, lunch and have fun. Last time I went away with them, to Spain, I came back revived and full of life.

This past few weeks I have been in a really good place with some smatterings of anxiety (just so I don’t forget what I’ve been through). Today I’ve had full blown anxiety thinking about tomorrow.

What if something happens to my kids whilst I’m away? What if, what if, what if.

Unlike previous incarnations of this fear, I’m not quite as worried about something happening to me. I pay a lot of money a month for life insurance so that I know my children will be financially secure until my youngest is 21. Doesn’t replace a mother, but makes me feel like I’m still caring for them in a way, even in death. I arranged this cover during my postnatal depression four years ago and it has helped. Maybe I am overpaying but it is best for my peace of mind.

I’m having moments of crushing angst where I just don’t think I can go. I have periods of excitement too. Only one person going knows about my breakdown. The rest are relative strangers and I’m going somewhere where I will not see people I know. I can do this.

And this is what I wanted, surely? A social life: fun, laughter and friends. I love history and natural beauty and culture. Perhaps I will discover the old me over there.

I will go, only because I cannot afford to waste the money I have already paid. Moreover, this is the next big step: if I can conquer this, I can conquer anything.