The Escape: Day 1

It’s hard to express just how overwhelmed and exhausted I have felt lately, with the volume of work I’ve had. (Sorry if I haven’t replied yet to your comments or emails.) It feels like I can’t keep my head above water or see land on the horizon. I may post more about this, but for now… I HAVE ESCAPED!


A post-Christmas gift to myself — a box of sayings that make me LOL My friend said, “You mean there are other people with your sense of humour?” Apparently.

After struggling (and succeeding, with his cooperation) at getting my younger son out of bed and on his way to school, I made it to the ferry heading for Vancouver Island in time for the 1 pm sail. (No, I’m not going to see Harry and Meghan, as they are now back in England. Despite their invitation, the timing just wasn’t right. [No, of course that didn’t actually happen!])

Getting buy-in for the trip took some haggling with the husband, who seemed to think that one night paid for with Airmiles and one at a discounted web rate was more than we could afford. My reply was not pretty, as in “Well what the f**k am I killing myself at work for if I can’t even spend the money for one night at a hotel?!” (Bear in mind that we both make a pretty good living.)

I told my husband that if I didn’t get away by myself to try to recharge, I would die. He accused me of being hyperbolic, but truly, that’s how it feels. In the end, he did support me, just like he supports the long hours I spend at the office away from our home. Good man, but he just really doesn’t understand how I feel.

IMG_4195So, anyway, back to the ferry… We pulled away from Horseshoe Bay, North of Vancouver. I’m afraid that I had a really hard time trying to relax, particularly as there was one task I didn’t do that is making me feel guilty. (Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow… or Sunday… or Monday.) The sky was pretty grey, but at least it’s better than the headache-inducing overhead LED lights at the office.

IMG_4196The view for most of the journey was extreme nothingness…  kind of like my life outside of work. Well, that’s actually because it’s almost non-existent, as I have work-work balance.

I do like the ferry journey, although I did find another seat when the guy in front of me was snuffling and obviously sick. Probably just a cold, but still…

After nearly two hours, we pulled into Nanaimo and I made the half-hour drive to one of my happy places on the Island. Rustic, but restful, nestled in amongst the trees only steps away from the shore. Here are some pictures of my home-away-from-home (until Saturday) where the sun had finally come out.

Am I the only person who does this? I was so not happy with how the room was arranged, so I did my usual trick and moved the furniture around until the room felt good to me.

I put all my clothes away, then went out and picked up a bottle of wine, some snacks, and the components of simple breakfasts and lunches. What else does a girl need? A 99 cent flower for the table! Now that’s a pick-me up!


grotto-spa-mineral-pool-1I managed to get a last-minute booking for a soak in the spa’s mineral pool and hot tub. The pool apparently gets its minerals from a spa in Hungary — not sure I believe that, but it did feel nice. I let out an involuntary sigh when I walked down the steps into the water. There is so much sodium, that you can lie flat with all your muscles relaxed (took me a few tries to relax) and just float on the surface, listening to the ethereal music piped underwater.

The best thing, though, was the hot tub. I have had such trouble with a muscle in the back of my right hip and around the hip joint, that I limp and wince everywhere I go. I know I need physiotherapy, but I haven’t been able to schedule the time away from work. The heat and jets of the tub worked wonders, though! And because it’s part of the spa, rather than the hotel, there are only maximum 8 people in the whole pool/hot tub area at any one time. SO relaxing.

(Skip right past this paragraph if you are offended by NSFW Richard material.) There is a waterfall feature in the mineral pool that always reminds me of a certain scene in a certain NSFW story by Judiang about Sir Guy of Gisborne and Marian. (I warn you… it is about Richard and it is very NSFW.) Today, however, there was a honeymooning couple behind the waterfall feature for most of the time, pretty much killing that bit of imagination. (Unfortunately, there aren’t any pictures of the waterfall feature itself online, and cell phones are not allowed inside.)

After the spa pool, I went to the neighbourhood pub, which does things right. I had a lager and lime and a steak and Stilton pie with salad, all of which were divine!

Most of all, I am enjoying being alone with my own thoughts, the majority of which are finally not about work. (You know it’s bad when you even dream about the spreadsheets you are working on. Oh, the horror!)

And now, finally, I have a few moments I can call my own, where I have enough mental energy to blog. Thanks for reading along.

Well, that’s it for tonight. I’m off to have a glass of dry rosé with some barbecue chips (don’t knock it ’til you try it) while watching an episode of House M.D.

82 thoughts on “The Escape: Day 1

  1. Sue good for you :
    Getting away
    The hot tub
    The flower on the table
    The barbecue chips (crisps)
    Not running into Harry and Meghan
    The cozy room
    The lager
    Wonderful sense of humor
    Visions of TNSFW fan fiction
    Taking the much needed break escape

    I miss you blogging!! 😘❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fabulous get-away, Sue. Well done for having insisted on it. You are more than worth it, and as you said yourself, you *needed* it. A weekend just on my own, in a hotel, is one of my big dreams too. (Ok, I’ve stayed in hotels on my own before – but always for work. I’d love to just *be* somewhere, with no obligations whatsoever.)
    I hope you can recharge your batteries and come back refreshed and ready to tackle the next steps.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so identify with all of this — work won’t stop, can’t get away from it, no one seems to understand why it’s such a problem, and time away is begrudged me in both casual and aggressive possible ways. The only possible recreation ends up being getting completely away, and then it’s expensive. Also the one thing you didn’t do nagging away at you [sorry to sound like a downer]


    Liked by 1 person

    • Pour beaucoup d’entre-nous, les circonstances de la vie rendent le repos une denrée rare, voire inaccessible! “Prendre du temps au temps” est une belle expression.
      Astrov: “Because I’m worn out! The moment I lie down, it’s bang bang at the door… And the rare nights when no one bangs at the door? Well you lie awake anyway – in dread of the knock that never comes!”..

      Liked by 2 people

      • I often find myself thinking, though, about Thornton’s times. The workers certainly worked until they dropped and didn’t get weekends off either. So, really, who am I to complain?

        As for the bang bang at the door. mine is scratch scratch, as the dog wants in or out of our bedroom, often several times per night!

        Liked by 2 people

        • I don’t think suffering can usefully be compared. I used to see this in synagogues all the time. Person A would complain about something in their live and Person B would say, well, at least you weren’t in a concentration camp. Whatever’s bugging you is bugging you, and expressing what it is is the first step to changing things. I think there are situations where perspective is important, but I don’t like to see it used to minimize impact of real pain.

          re: time off from millwork — 2-4 unpaid days off per month was pretty standard (although there were exceptions, such as steelworkers at US Steel) — either a half-day or one day per week.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks. I should try to remember that. I somehow feel that I’m not entitled to feel miserable. I wish I could figure out how to change things for the better. I hope when my boss is away, things will slow down a bit.

            At least the workers did have a few days off then.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Les exemples sont tous instructifs, dans chacun de leur contexte.
              Toutes les précisions remettent les pendules à l’heure. Dans les propos sur les horaires de l’historienne Servetus, j’entends ceux que m’enseignaient mes ancêtres ( aujourd’hui décédés ou non).

              Liked by 1 person

            • w/drastic variations, of course, e.g., the US Steel plant in Homestead, PA, which is a notorious example, completely turned off its machines one day a year (July 4th) — that was the only day off for the workers who produced steel ingots (7 days, 12 hour shifts). But people who produced sheet steel got one day off (6 days, 8 hour shifts), until the strike was resolved in Carnegie’s favor, when they went back to the 12 hour day but stuck with 6 day workweeks. And the pipe producers seem to have worked 10 hour days, 6 days, all through the post-1890 period. [Yes, I just lectured about this in US History II.]

              What I’m starting to find is that the situation is affecting my productivity and thus my general reputation, i.e., I’m not “breaking down” in the sense that I can’t get out of bed but in the sense that it takes longer and longer for me to complete fairly simple tasks (not least b/c procrastination gets out of hand).

              Liked by 1 person

          • (:Quand je me plains de la douleur causée par un de mes doigts, tout bleu, coincé la veille dans une porte et ceci auprès d’une personne qui combat nuit et jour contre des douleurs insupportables, je me sens illégitime, C’est un luxe pour moi de me plaindre. D’ailleurs ces malades ne se plaignent jamais, ils affichent un sourire de façade et vous demandent avec bienveillance “Bonjour, comment allez-vous?”. A un tel point que vous oubliez leur maladie. Quelle leçon de vie!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ce raisonnement est-il applicable aussi bien aux douleurs morales que physiques?
            Il y a une échelle d’auto-évaluation de la douleur physique, je ne pense pas qu’elle peut s’étendre à la douleur morale.
            Whether physical or moral, pains should not be ignored or trivialized, I agree with Servetus.

            Liked by 1 person

            • it’s probably a bigger topic than I can get into here, but it seems that one might feed the other, i.e., saying “I shouldn’t complain about X, many people have it worse than I do” is primarily a moral judgement, apart from any objective comparison of circumstances. It seems potentially harder to compare physical pain (or at least we haven’t figured out how to do it yet).

              Liked by 1 person

              • It also might be something designed to help a person feel a bit better, and maybe focus on the good things. I remember when my kids were little I would watch shows like “Nanny 911” just so I could say, “Well at least I’m a better parent/my kids are better behaved than those people!” Maybe it does help one to soldier on.

                Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I’m sure that your increased teaching load is a mixed bag… more time away from home, but more responsibilities and less time to tackle the responsibilities at home. I’m glad you had your trip to London, though.

      Much as I complain, I am really lucky that I have a husband who is willing to take up the slack at home, but still… something has to change.


      • My situation comes with the problem that I need to be more of a micro-manager than I am by nature. So I also let things pile up with the excuse that I am exhausted (which I am, so I am not lying).

        I wonder how we get to that place where people take us more seriously.

        Liked by 1 person

            • For over a hundred years, March 8 (Sunday this year) has celebrated women. This International Day of Women’s Rights concerns all of us. One day against 364 others but women condition is presented in the media with sometimes excellent programs.
              March 8 in a few dates:
              2020: International Women’s Rights Day celebrates 110 years.
              February 28, 1909: Women’s Day, a demonstration by women in the United States who demand better working conditions, a wage equal to that of men, the abolition of child labor and the right to vote.
              August 1910: Clara Zetkin, German socialist activist, poses the concept of women’s mobilization day.
              March 8, 1914: women claim the right to vote in Germany.
              March 8, 1917: demonstrations by workers in St. Petersburg who really set fire to the powder of the Russian Revolution (official date of this revolution).
              March 8, 1921: Lenin declares March 8 Women’s Day.
              From 1945, March 8 was officially Women’s Day in all socialist countries, then in the world.
              March 8, 1977: the United Nations formalizes International Women’s Day.
              March 8, 1982: the day is formalized in France by François Mitterrand.
              To know. In the former Soviet bloc countries and some African countries, March 8 is an official public holiday; not official in Portugal, Italy, Brazil or Chile; and a day off for women in China, Nepal and Madagascar.

              Liked by 3 people

        • I’m a micromanager, but also a bit of a perfectionist, so then it’s easier to put it off than to accept only having time or energy for a half-assed job.

          I think that for me some people are taking me more seriously lately, but just don’t know how to help. Or even don’t want to. My friend at work says that I am a victim of my own competence (and I think also sense of responsibility), but I don’t see her offering to take on a project instead of me. Her priorities are making sure she has a good life outside of the office. I don’t know how to have that as my focus anymore (if I ever really did).

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds perfect, sometimes you just need your own space. I think as women we tend to put everyone else first. So having some time to yourself where you don’t have to think of anyone else is 100% necessary.
    Regarding the spa, Michele and I walked our socks off last week and I had really bad shin pain for the last two days of our trip…I went and took a bath in epsom salts the night I got back and the next day all my pain was gone!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m reading this late but I’m so glad you were able to get away. You’ve been dealing with stress at work for so long now, it’s not healthy. So great that you finally took a break.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.