So, I was 18 and on a budget coach holiday to Rimini in Italy with my best friend Amanda. And it being budget, the lira were in very short supply. As a treat we bought ourselves a lilo, just one between us, and took turns floating on the gloriously warm Adriatic Sea.
It's my turn, I'm lying on my back, the waves lulling a deep and sensuous dream of all being well with the world, the summer sun deliciously warming and playing dreams in shades of tangerine on the backs of my eyelids.
A rather large wave engulfs the airbed and the spluttering shock causes me to jump or rather inelegantly fall off the lilo. Feeling a bit daft I glance back to the shore to see if Amandas laughing at me and realise that I've floated way beyond what feels a comfortable distance. The tiny figures on the beach, the stretch of sea between me and them, a heavy burgeoning fear slickly sloshed into the pit of my stomach...what should I do?
The lilo is floating further out.
I should swim back to shore.
I don't .
The lilo is important to us, isn't it?
I choose to get the lilo and swim even further out. The current however is against me and it continues to float further and further from reach.
Have you ever experienced that feeling? The OMG this is really happening, how did everything get so bad so quick.
I was so tired of reaching and failing, I started to take time outs by floating on my back while the airbed needing no such breather floated its own path.
I am way out at sea, it feels like miles, it won't be but perception a few inches above sea level is deceptive. I am thinking that reaching the lilo is going to be my only way of surviving.
I cannot reach it and I cannot breathe.
Ok, I'm here and writing this, so you know I must have done.
I was rescued by a lifeguard on a raft that he was rowing like a venetian gondola. He took me back to shore.
I was 18 and obviously stupid and to be honest got over the whole thing pretty quick, relief is a wonderful relaxant.
I believe in people, I really do, that you can pursue your goals, that its all in the mindset, that with planning, hard work and a healthy dose of reality you can make things happen or be happy or successful or any way you wish to be.
However make sure what you are chasing is important to you and that whatever it's costing you is worth it.
Don't let it be a lilo.
Oh by the way the prompt for this little trip down memory lane is a Cosmopolitan article: Hypnotherapy Helped Me End a Toxic Relationship
Now its amazing how much body language you can read from a person uncovered, as theres so much more to read, and his wistful look back at his gurning mates and the realisation that a beachful of gleeful meercats were enraptured by his burgeouning pain gave him pause for 'about blinkin' time' thought.
To go back was wussy, to plough on now an almost medical emergency as his little tootsies were burning bright and torturous. He lowered his sombrero to cover his nether regions and dashed on, falling sombrero first into the sea. He emerged sober…..Ive never seen such a painful expression as that sobriety as the lifeguard rushed from his highchair shouting and whistling at the 'eejit' clutching that drippy pink sombrero.
Us meercats were all on our feet watching the spectacle as befits people of our age with no kids to protect from the lewd goings on. Pulling some shorts from his backpack the lifeguard made him dress then hustled him red faced off the beach.
Mother opened an eye on hearing the collective creak as the meercats settled back down to e-read, "Whats happened, Trace, what you looking at?" "Oh, nothing really Mam, just admiring the sandcastles" She'd have been gutted to have missed that.
Looking back I realised I strayed far from the point I was going to make……well I'll just make it a link instead.
Insomnia study published 7th June 2014
Slow-wave sleep improved with hypnosis, study suggests