The Dark Side Part 2

Hubby and I went to the Adirondacks for six days this month, it was the first time we’ve been together alone for more than a day in 13 years. So it was quite a milestone. I even foolishly mentioned the word Honeymoon during one of our romantic dinners of which we had a few. However, the many bumps in the road that had to be maneuvered thinned out the romance. I can’t go into all the nuts and bolts because that’s unfair to Hubby, as he isn’t given a voice on my blog. Let’s just say I primarily messed up by not making the trip a priority and I avoided taking part in the planning because Mr Clipboard, my darling Hubby, is so good at all this organizational stuff. I read one section of one of the three guidebooks we bought on the area and I got excited by what I read. Yet I didn’t share this with Hubby. I guess I was overwhelmed with choice and expected hubby to make all the decisions. Well that was a big mistake.

So I was in a great mood when we set off, then the reality of the five-hour drive into the dark, enclosed, slightly scary woods hit me. I didn’t know what to expect.

Add in menopause and a late period that didn’t arrive the entire week but banged on my vaginal walls loudly with a strong chorus of period pains, brain fog and bloating. Did I mention my sore jaw also? Let’s not go there. All of the above brought on a rather different kind of mood.

I’ll admit that my passive aggressive head was firmly screwed on by the end of the trip.

I turned into Grouch bag central. Poor hubby had to “manage me” for the entire trip. Ok I produced one or two smiles, hugs and moments of gratitude – well maybe, but most of the time I was a Debbie Downer and it will go down in history as a lost opportunity. Sigh!

So here is what I’ve learned from this experience:

1. Get involved in the planning of a trip even when it’s more effort than you would like.

2. Make sure all parties involved get their needs met throughout the trip i.e. be flexible and accommodating.

3. Do not be the sacrificial lamb who goes on hikes that they don’t want to do or feel unable to do.

4. Mix in rest days and don’t be ashamed to bail on a plan if it doesn’t fit your energy level.

5. Bring plenty of great wine, a massive music playlist that you can sing along to, chocolate, and maybe a teddy bear.

6. Camping is best done near a clean toilet block that has a shower at hand. Primitive sites are for hardcore campers only.

7. Canoeing for hours is more fun if you stop for lunch on an island and paddle a bit more then stop and fish a little i.e. it’s okay to take things easy. Visit a local canoe store to help you with ideas as they organize trips to the best areas and use the most scenic routes all the time. Crossing land during a canoe trip is called a portage and I’d recommend renting a $5 trolly for the day to help you carry the canoe. Those darlings are heavy. If worried about getting lost book one of the canoe store’s trips.

8. Own your responsibility to make this a peaceful time of reconnection avoid an aggressive attitude.

9. If you are feeling lonely and unconnected during your trip don’t blame your partner, just let them know in a loving way that you really need to curl up with a good book while they hike that day. If feeling particularly daring ask them to visit an antique’s store or gallery with you. Demand a daily visit to an ice-cream parlor.

10. With focus and a little effort you can create a smile from your heart when you really don’t feel up to it. It flows positive energy from your heart into every part of your being.

11. Expect moments when you feel like your having a heart attack scrambling over giant boulders. Don’t be ashamed to ask your partner for a helping hand during the steep climbs even if you are going at a snail’s pace. Promise them some homemade trail-mix for their patience. Or whatever comes to mind that might motivate their gracious side. You will be filled with a cosmic shower of gratitude that you have lived to tell the tale and ended up hoisted onto a massive rock with a breath-stealing view of the Adirondack peaks and endless glass lakes. Nature Rocks!

 

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I really hope you found this at least a little helpful and entertaining. Everyone messes up from time to time and it’s how you grow from it that counts. Be well my lovelies lots of snuggles Jackie

 

 

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About Jackie Cartwright

Jackie Cartwright spent her childhood in Northern Ireland, during the Troubles, in a farming town called Limavady, where “Northern Branches” takes place. She is a former English and Theatre Studies high-school teacher, who attended Leeds and Oxford University. She taught in London for five years, finishing as a Department Head. She has worked as an Assistant Director for successful British TV dramas such as “Daylight Robbery”, and dabbled as a radio presenter for an English hospital radio. This novelist ‘wanna be’ lives in New York with her husband, a hungry Guinea Pig, five goldfish and two small kids. She fell in love with the U.S.A while working at a Summer Camp in Maine and during a semester at Ripon College Wisconsin as part of her B.A. She is active in several local not-for-profit organizations, acting as a mentor at Women Care and as the leader of the Westchester Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network for four years. She adores volunteering for WNYC New York Public Radio and is an active PTA member. Jackie partners with the Sound Shore Writers Group in Rye, and has attended several writing courses at Sarah Lawrence and Gotham Writers Workshop. She teachers writing when she finds the time. On her Tumblr blog, www.egotasticearthmom@tumblr.com, Jackie shares her Irish wit, a passion for writing, and holistic parenting. “Northern Branches” is her debut novel.
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