A broken heart affects everything.
In the tropical paradise that is Kaua’i, my thoughts of the past and the future overwhelmed the present. It was so wonderful when we were here before. Or was it? Was I so deluded? And the future I thought was so secure, destroyed. We were supposed to come back here, again and again. But now, this is the last time.
Honestly, it got rather tiresome. Really, sitting in paradise, and living in my head instead of where I actually was. But isn’t that what we are all doing, so often?
And then, reinterpreting. This was never my idea of a holiday. I’d rather be doing something adventurous, like my solo trip to China, a year and a half ago. Like taking my children to Europe for 6 weeks, travelling with carry-on bags on trains and planes. These golf course holidays were total capitulation, because my husband had limited time, wanted a warm place for a break, and liked to golf.
And then acknowledging that I actually enjoyed it, a lot. It might not have been my first choice, but what’s not to like? Spending time with the man I loved, being warm, going out for dinner, reading books by the pool while he was golfing? And I might see it differently in retrospect, but at the time I appreciated the company of the other people who were so much like us.
So I came to the point of letting go of my head and enjoying where my body was. I practiced what I had valued only in theory before: living in the moment.
I breathed the air deeply, listened to the birds. Felt the sun on my face, the strength of my legs as I hiked. Danced to the music. And realized that knowing I would never do this again allowed me to fully experience and appreciate it.
Instead of feeling the emptiness of being on my own, I was thankful for the new experiences it brought. Because if I was with my husband, I wouldn’t have gone up to talk to the band at break, and been invited to a Thanksgiving potluck with the local community. I wouldn’t have had a conversation with a young woman from the Ukraine about what life is like from her perspective. I wouldn’t have interacted, casually or not so casually, with so many of the people I met.
And I will try to hold on to this, in the next year. To experience exactly where and when I am, instead of having everything “sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.”
A good attitude, I think, for setting off on my brave travels.