Today I intentionally went down to watch the sunset. As I arrive at the beachfront there are more people here than I’d like but I stay anyway.
Once again I am thankful for my artificial knee that allows me to navigate the long ramp and many stairs onto the beach. A strong wind is blowing and, like myself, the sea is anything but calm! For the time being I am alone on the beach.
I find a rock to sit on and get lost in the beauty around me – listening to the rolling waves and watching them crash along the shore, feeling the wind tugging at my shirt. It is too bright for me to enjoy without my sunnies – one of the side affects of cataract surgery. I wish I could capture the patterns the water makes on the sand as it runs back down the beach to meet the next wave. I am in awe of the majesty of the ocean.
I focus on a wave , following it’s progress until it crashes on the shore, then pick another to watch. I notice how the water washes away any signs that anyone has been there earlier in the day as it makes it’s way slowly up the beach. At some point I realise that I am crying.
Suddenly there are a lot of people around so I try to find a quiet spot. Maybe Friday is not the best day to have picked but I hadn’t even considered what day of the week it was. I am cold and windswept so decide to return home even though the sun has not quite set! I realise that I am exhausted and not just physically. Moving out of my comfort zone is draining.
It is the first day of my four-day weekend. Because of my PTSD, it would be easy for me to lock myself away at home and not see another soul for the entire time. But this is the second time I have ventured out today. This morning I took my two favourite kids to the movies. It took me the whole week to prepare myself to be able to do something that most people can just do, but it’s important to me.
It’s a ritual the three of us have during the school holidays. We see at least one movie, I fill them up with sugar of course before returning them home. On the way, we repeat all the lines the made us laugh and often find a new catch phrase for the next few weeks. It’s important to me to not let this become another victim of my condition so I psych myself up all week to be ready! They have no idea how anxious I am and, in the end, we have fun and I am glad for the energy I had to expend to hang out with these two precious young people.
Tomorrow I may shut myself away from the world to recharge and rest; to find the strength to venture out again. On the whole, although I am tired and drained, I feel a little victorious too.