This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

A Single Life | Getting There

Well, it's been a while, not least because of half-term and being away in Patsy, so I'm going to try and have a bit of a catch up before getting around to anything else.

The weekend before half-time term long time friend Pauline came to stay at the flat. Pauline holds the dubious honour of being the first guest since we moved in some five years ago, although not by design. We bought a fold-up bed for just such occasions but sold it in the spring entirely unused. Fortunately Pauline was happy to make do with the sofa and to be fair it is very comfortable - particularly when you're nursing the occasional hangover...

And what a lovely weekend we had and it was so nice to have the company of someone in the flat again. We've known each other long enough to not have to make conversation for the sake of it but both just enjoying the presence of another. We did get out and about - a bit of sightseeing at Seaford Head - something Trev and I should have done more of, the cinema - something we used to do a lot, and out for a curry - something we never did!

The day after school finished for half-term we had a first aid refresher course - we do it every 2-3 years. I wasn’t relishing the prospect of it, particularly where we would have to practice CPR on a dummy. I was worried about my emotional reaction to it given that I’d had to do it for real in the summer. However I had a quiet word with the instructor beforehand and we decided that we’d do it in private as soon as the others had gone to lunch. In fact I needn’t have worried and was even able to give the odd pointer about how the 999 operator would talk someone through the procedure if need be. Overall it was a positive experience, however there was another all enveloping wave that night - short but pretty intense - and the following night too. A subconscious reaction maybe. Who knows?

The time away in Patsy however was overwhelmingly positive, it being my first completely solo trip. Ok, not entirely because for the first part there were some friends and family on site and I was meeting up with others on the second. However it proved two very important things - the first being that I CAN caravan on my own by choice - unlike when it was forced on me in the summer. The second is that I can enjoy it. Very much. It will never be the same of course but still be fulfilling. In a way this trip was as important as our very first one six and a half years ago. The only downside was the flat felt extremely empty the first night back, but I suppose that’s inevitable.

On both the weekend with Pauline and when away in the ‘van though there was that nagging feeling that I should have been sharing those times with Trev, how much better they could have been with him and how sad it was that he’d never get the chance to enjoy them.

Right, to the title ‘Getting There’. I’ve used the phrase a number of times myself in person an online - when someone asks how I’m doing, I say “getting there”. Then one day a friend asked “Where is ‘there’?” Good point. Where is ‘there’?

If ‘there’ surviving? Going to work, managing the flat and domestic chores? Yes, I’m certainly doing that.

If ‘there’ is feeling mostly ok, getting on with life, then yes, I’m ‘there’. Mostly. I can find pleasure in doing things - like caravanning, reading, music etc. But I am still alone and there are times when that inevitably hits real hard.

Is ‘there’ being able to move on, look to the future and a new relationship - a new ‘Trev’? I’m only 47 after all but right now sharing my life with anyone else is not something I could begin to consider. There’s only one person I’d share my life with right now and he’s gone.

I have a great circle of friends and work colleagues - and great family in my cousin and his - and that’s enough for the foreseeable future. I’m sure as time moves on my feelings will change but right now I can cope with being single - I can function as a single person and embrace certain aspects of it too. So in many respects I am ‘there’.

It’s been a funny old day. Felt fine for most of it but after dropping some kids off this afternoon I had a spare hour and felt the need to park up somewhere quiet and put on some sad songs with tears the inevitable consequence. The subconscious telling me I need to let it out again, to relieve the pressure, because that’s how I see it. Opening the safety valve. Again who knows?

So, quite a short one this time. Thanks as always if you’ve got this far.

Cheers

Rich