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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

London Calling...

I am going to England and Ireland in May and it is all I am thinking about these days...well, divorce and the demise of love, which is a daily constant in my life, but other than that, I am thinking about travel, time away, time alone and time at the front end of the trip to spend with girlfriends in London.

It has been a very long time since I went away on holiday by myself, for two weeks.  Like I am pretty sure the last time was when I was in Ireland and England in 1989.  I was there for 3 1/2 weeks then and it was a revolutionary trip.  Unfortunately, my alcoholism was in full bloom.  So there was some drama.  Like I was headed to Liverpool on the train, got drunk with the bartender and another guy and ended up in Scotland.  Very, very drunk.

I won’t be doing that this time around.  Thank God!  I am absolutely certain I will not end up in countries that I do not intend to and I will not likely get drunk in a bar in Belfast and almost end up in the IRA (that is another story for another time...).

My mind is kind of playing tricks on me though, I am going and it will be amazing and I am happy to be going at 54, not 19.  But when I think about myself there, I am having a hard time holding onto my age.  I keep picturing myself there younger...and I don’t suppose it matters, really.  But the mind is a subtle foe when it comes to what you think and what actually is.

The trip is simple.  London for 5 days then 10 days in Ireland.  London has girlfriends and plans and city fun.  Ireland has no plans, no structure and no agenda.  The only “plan” is that I will arrive, get a room, rent a car and then take off to wherever I am supposed to go.  I want to write, wander and take photos.  I want to meet people and hear their stories.  I want to allow the scenery to change me.  I expect I will meet a great many people, but I also expect to spend a great deal of the time alone.  And I am hungry for that alone time.  I want to be silent, viewing the amazing sights and then able to write and reflect. Maybe not everyone’s ideal vacation...but this was the trip I was supposed to take when I turned 50 but COVID hit and that was the end of that.

I find myself dreaming about it.  I am thinking about it.  I am planning for it.  And I am settling into this almost euphoric state to sojourn solo through the heartland of Ireland.

I have to say that as much as I am looking forward to that backside of the trip, I also feel this pull towards London.  The city life, the fast pacedness.  The time running around with my besties and doing whatever.  So far we have so many things we want to do that we would need to live there at least a month to accomplish it all.  However, we are all realists and will do what we can, what we want and allow the things we miss to be scheduled onto another trip.

The whole idea of the trip brings me such relief.  I am so happy to be going, it has been a very long time since I took two weeks out of my life to just do me.  No parenting or working or anything.  Just me and what I want, when I want and get to experience the world solo again.

And if I am honest, I think that I need this time to prepare myself for the coming empty nest that is nearly upon me.  My daughter will be 17 in April and she fully intends to fly the coop straightaway.  She herself in search of grand adventures in foreign locales.  And while I will miss her greatly, I know it is time for her to find her way, away from me and home and all that she knows and loves.  And I want this for her.   

I am not young anymore, but I remember the time and the feelings of endless possibilities where your life is so wide open and you are so fully alive that it reverberates through your soul.  I remember what that feels like...and to some degree I am there too.  I will be without child rearing responsibilities.  I can work from wherever I am for the most part.  And life will be my own to a very large degree.  And there is a similar freedom to which my daughter and son are experiencing.  Life is opening up in new ways that are exciting, foreign and exotic.

So I feel London calling...I feel the pull.  “London is calling, so I must go”

For completely other reasons than The Clash sang about in 1979...but perhaps the pull is the same.  My own life on the edge of, well, I am not sure what.  War against aging, taking my turn one more time before it is too late? 

I guess for me, it is this pull, this feeling that time is growing shorter and while I cannot stop time, I can soak up whatever time I have left, to enjoy, to revel, to fully and completely merge myself with my life as it unfolds, savoring it all while I still can.



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