The lake is not my favorite place to be. Especially not in the South. It's muddied with red clay, too dark to see to the bottom, and often snake-ridden. I let my anxiety get the best of me anticipating our weekend trip to Lake Murray. I knew I didn't want to swim and my pasty white skin wouldn't allow me to be outside longer than thirty minutes without my skin turning the color of ripe watermelon. I didn't want to feel like a babysitter to the littles. I came into the whole weekend with a bad attitude because it ruined my plans to throw Alex a surprise birthday party. I felt selfish and guilty for only caring about my feelings. I was worried that everyone would feel like I was purposefully ostracizing myself from the rest of the group. I created this huge cloud of emotions that felt totally out of my control. Of course, like most of my anxieties, my thoughts were completely unfounded. But still, I couldn't shake the sense of panic brewing inside me.
Early on during our drive to Irmo we came upon a road sign alerting us to accidents on I-20. We decided to consult Waze and follow an alternate route along the backroads. Near Gilbert we came upon a field of donkeys. Alex and I looked at each other and just knew we needed to stop for photos. So we did. I tried to get close to the donkeys but I realized the best vantage point was from the farm's driveway. Not wanting to trespass, we found a small gap in the trees along the fence line and Alex held the greenery away from me long enough to snap a few photos before heading back on the road.
We celebrated my nephew's 1st birthday with family and friends on the lake. My sister-in-law made incredible pulled pork barbecue in the crock pot and we shared sandwiches and classic southern sides around the picnic table. She also made cute fishing themed party treats for the kids to enjoy. Everyone had a great time out on the boat until a pop-up thunderstorm rained on our parade. Luckily I made it inside before the rain and avoided getting completely soaked. It was a quick trip up the road to the lake for the day but it was so nice to see everyone. I'm not sure why I ever dreaded the journey so much.
Do you struggle with travel anxiety? What are your tips to remaining calm before you set off to a new place?