Two things to note about this Tuesday:
- It’s my “name day”. Yep, it’s all about the Annas in Sweden today – each day of the year has a name assigned to it, and 9th of December it’s Anna. I accept cash or cheque, only get me gifts I can return or exchange. Anna, Anna, Anna. This means about half of the female population in Sweden are getting little presents today, seeing as everyone’s called Anna. I was never just ‘Anna’ at school. I was ‘Anna J’, and in my class there was an ‘Anna B’ and an ‘Anna O’. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my name, it’s just not very original, that’s all.
- I’m going to the dentist. Today there will be a needle and there is no way out of it. That tooth needs fixing and I can’t postpone it any longer. Better get it over with now, instead of ending up with root canal work. I need to woman up, simple as that.
Mum, aunties and friend are in the taxi to Heathrow, but in two weeks B and I will be spending our first morning in Falla (my dad’s property/retreat/escape outside the town where I’m from – we always stay there, gives us some alone time away from family chaos), but probably not sitting outside on the little terrace like in the summer. It’ll be freezing no doubt, but the good news is that there’s snow so by the looks of things we’re in for a magical white Christmas. It’s pretty beautiful here in London too this morning, as it happens. Frost everywhere and the sky gorgeously shifting in fragile layers of pale blues and pinks.
Not that the beautiful sky is doing much to relieve the rising panic in me, I am all too aware that in just a couple of hours from now, I’ll be sitting in that dreaded dentist’s chair with my lovely dentist lady (the one with the incredible eyelashes who speaks to me at the level I am at anytime I’m at her mercy – that of a small child) hovering over me and gently assuring me I won’t feel the needle and that it’ll all be over in seconds. I’m terrible. When I get scared, I have a tendency to work myself up so much beyond the actual issue that I become a complete wreck. I’ve lost count of the number of flights I’ve been on, that I’ve started to freak out days – even weeks – in advance about, then cried my eyes out at take-off and sat there in my seat continually tightening my seatbelt and shooting terrified glances around me to gauge if it’s really only me who knows the end is nigh. And then only to land safely after a perfectly smooth flight without even a hint of turbulence. Every time I’m scared I do this – build something quite harmless up in my mind to the point where I’m on the verge of full blown panic attacks.
The flying I sort of have under control. In the summer, I got so fed up with myself – properly angry, in fact, I’d just had ENOUGH – because being so scared is actually very exhausting. And I can’t walk into Arrivals to be met by family steaming drunk every time. So I announced to B (who at the time was getting ready to hold my hand and fuss over his neurotic girlfriend) that I wasn’t going to be scared anymore and then pretty much forced myself not to care. I was so angry at the state I’d got myself in every time and how it almost ruined part of the trip, that I decided there and then that I from then on would be a calm and confident flyer.
So I fished out my laptop and wrote my morning pages as soon as the non-smoking sign came off mid-ascent, plainly refusing to be the nervous, sobbing wreck I usually am on flights and take-offs in particular:
I don’t know who I was trying to convince – myself or B – and I can’t say I totally conquered the discomfort I feel during flights, but it kinda worked. B probably thought I’d gone completely mad, but I’m stubborn as fuck and have kept (or acted, rather) calm ever since. Well, we’ve only been on two more flight since that one, but still. I wonder if I can do the same with the dreaded needles? Tell myself and the world that DAMN IT, IT DOESN’T BOTHER ME SO FUCKING LET’S GO, STING MEEEEEEEEE!
Speaking of flights and being better at it, I just read in both UK and Swedish news this morning that a “weather bomb” is heading this way from across the Atlantic. The defiant optimist in me wants to believe that a “weather bomb” is God and the Angels blazing us with perfect and glorious weather and having bluebells and daisies gently raining down on us, but unfortunately it’s not anywhere near as cute and lovely as that – we’re in for extreme winds, gales, snow, rain and, according to Swedish media, a storm so violent it might end up getting a name. How splendid, and how much fun that’ll be!
Oh well. Potential flights from hell later this week will just have to wait at #2 on my Things-To-Freak-Out-Anout list for now. #1 is the impending doom and gloom of that fucking needle. Off I go….. Happy “Anna Day” to me!