I recently had a wonderful opportunity to go visit a dear friend in Scotland. We have been friends since I was nineteen years old. There was a group of four of us that used to hang out. We lived through our twenties together, thankfully during a time of no social media. I look back and am so glad there is no public record of some of our shenanigans. I’m thrilled we all managed to be able to make the trip to Scotland to celebrate our friend’s 60th birthday.
This trip came at a time of craziness in my personal life. I’d recently broken up with my boyfriend of six years. I know this will come as a shock to many who know me as there has been no public announcement. We are still best friends and business associates and he will always have a special place in my heart. I knew I had to get moved into a new place just three days after my return and then had to say goodbye to my son who was traveling abroad for a year. My emotions have been on high alert. Plus I had classes/ speaking scheduled during the two days prior to the move. I’m not sure how I got through it all but I did.
I’m so thankful that I was able to just step into the vacation time and leave all the chaos that was in my life back home. I knew it would be there for me upon my return and that there wasn’t anything I could do to make it any easier. It wasn’t easy to temporarily forget all that was going on but I made up my mind to let it all go for now. Sometimes if you just tell yourself that you’re letting go just for a while then it’s easier to tackle.
What a spectacular vacation it was! We stayed in a huge house on Loch Lomond near Glasgow, Scotland. We could see breathtaking sunsets over the Loch out the enormous back window of the house. Old friends and family members of hers surrounded me. No pretensions, we all just pitched in to cook meals, clean up, set tables, and grocery shop. We came down for coffee in the morning in our jammies like family.
We took a few days to explore nearby towns, tour a whiskey distillery, hang out at a pub, hike, swim, and just be present in the moment before the night of the big party. It had been three years since my last big vacation and I relished every moment.
Of course the four old friends took some time out to laugh and recount old stories of crazy times from our youth. All those years ago I never thought about celebrating one of our 60th birthdays together. We were young and bullet proof and never thought of growing old. I’m so glad that we’re still in touch with each other though. We have each turned into responsible adults and have been through multiple changes in our lives over the years but every time we get together it’s like no time has passed at all. We have a deep friendship that transcends time.
This time out gave me a better perspective on my life. I spent time with people who have known me since I was a teenager. They’ve seen me grow and change and they understand better than most how I got where I am today. The things that I tend to keep hidden from the world, they knew were there under the surface because they saw it in the bullet proof version of me when I was young. Somehow over the years through different relationships and becoming a mom, part of me was lost. I needed to rediscover some things about myself and remember who I am at the core.
I actually booked this vacation two years prior to taking it. When I put it on my calendar, I had no idea what I’d be dealing with at the time it came around. If I had, I may not have tried to go. I would have been overwhelmed at the thought of it all. But here I am on the other side of the vacation with it now behind me and I’m so glad I went. We can always do much more than we think we can. It was the best therapy I could have hoped for. I took a time out, followed my own advice and let go.