Break, break, break. Time accelerates then brakes against the shore of my leave. An office dalliance rises and winks away into nothing, like a fish leaping then plunging back into the ocean.

(It came and it went, remarkable only in its reassuring affirmation of my vitality. Alive? Check, yes, still.)

And then to the roil of work, of endless meetings and strategising, of handovers and passes, of writing, finessing, chasing. Days that stretch and pull you under, like a rip tide.

Swim through a sea of this: of agendas and minutes, of instant messages dinging your smartphone, of forgotten and recovered passwords, of surreptitious texts to your estate agent while forcing creativity during a “brainstorm” about another crisis in the world.

Surf over this: cooking, cleaning, ironing.  Attempting to spend some quality time with the child while simultaneously resenting that time and then feeling guilty that you do. Tidying and re-tidying your soon-to-be-on-the-market flat. Trying but failing to ignore the trapped nerve knifing you in the back every time you move your arm.

And then the familiar tidal wave as you watch for tell-tale signs in your post-alcoholic husband, whose depression and anxiety rises as you prepare to leave the country for a few weeks with your child. (“What’s wrong? Are you ok?” “Yes, fine. I don’t know what it is. Just leave it.”) 

But there are no warning odours. No red face or facial wounds. He is anxious about not having his daughter around for three weeks. You are anxious that he will be alone for three weeks. And worse still, about the possibility of coming back to a repeat of a few years ago.

Because this is the first time you are going away since he has been sober.

Brake. Brake. Brake.

Anxieties break against this shore. We are on the other side of the Atlantic now. He is in England, helping us sell our flat.


Our home of 10 years is on the market. And once sold, the break begins. One more part of our common past, broken away.



7 thoughts on “Break

  1. A break is a break, without judgment perhaps? Breaks are a way to jump into the unknown at times. Sometimes they just soothe us. I understand some anxiety around your ex, but you are powerless over what he does or doesn’t do, so let that go. Let the waves of serenity break on the shore. Be with the moment now.

    Very zen 🙂

  2. I find often that when I have an enforced break from something I come back to it with the realisation of “I didn’t miss that at all” and end it. We need breaks to take stock of things.

    Meanwhile relax and enjoy yourself and Rosie.

  3. Maya Angelou said: “…Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
    I hope you and Rosie have a wonderful break away while traveling abroad. Good for you for moving forward! Go back and reread your earlier blog posts to see how far you have come in your journey! You have traveled far and a break and ‘braking’ are in order! Have a good time out of country!

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