Where is Your Happy Place?

Have you ever felt angry, depressed, or frustrated with your life? Do you wish you could escape to a place where everything is calm, peaceful, and joyful? Well, you can. And you don’t need to travel far or spend a lot of money to do it.

After a moderately good sleep last night here on Anjea, safe in the Cahersiveen Marina despite the storm that raged most of the night, I awaken early feeling somewhat groggy, not quite engaged or awake enough to deal with the world. Thinking it will pass I scan my email and delete most of it, look at the weather forecast (it’s good for a walk) but after an hour or so I’m still struggling so I weaken and make a jug of coffee. I’m trying to stay off the tea and coffee because it aggravates the tremor in my right hand but today I figure I need the chemical stimulation.

I’m just about to pour the first cup when I somehow manage to spill half the coffee over myself, the galley and the floor. I still don’t know exactly how I achieved it but it had something to do with my hand catching unexpectedly on the pouch in front of my hoodie as I leaned over the galley, trying to open the top-loading fridge. Anyway, it was annoying but easy to clean up.

I finished the last wipe and opened the fridge again to get some cold water — I like to lower the temperature of my first coffee. With water in hand I straighten up and bang! My teeth rattle as my head hits the overhanging cupboard that I have forgotten about once again.

I see red. Blind rage rises in me. I curse aloud — just one expletive and then silence. But the anger inside is not quelled and continues to rise. I am driven to lash out. My first desire is to demolish the overhanging cupboard. I do nothing. Then I want to throttle the designer of this boat for such a stupid feature — there is no need for that cupboard to be so large and brutal. Still I do nothing. Next I just want to destroy something, anything! Again, I do nothing. The anger slowly loses its edge and degenerates. Red fades to black. I’m depressed.

Usually, I am happy on Anjea. It is my home. But now the boat feels like a prison so I decide to go for a walk early. It is on my agenda for today anyway.

Ten minutes into my long walk a woman is dragged towards me by her fluffy little white dog who is behaving as if I’m her long-lost best owner ever. Of course I’ve never seen the dog before but she does look like Helen’s dog Molly with more hair. I can’t help but laugh.

"Oh! She just wants to play!" exclaims her frustrated owner. I dare not stop or I’ll be licked to death. However, the curse is broken and life is good again.

A few minutes after that I get a WhatsApp from Helen who is suffering a wet and windy day in Sligo, and fantasizing about azure blue seas and pods of playful dolphin to keep sane. "What is your 'happy' place, Dave" she asks?

I think about it for a while. Certainly, I love sailing and dolphins playing in azure seas, but somehow that’s not where I go when I need a lift. Instead, I treasure a small part of me that’s just me and not part of some relationship or postcard or classic fantasy. My happy place is inside, which is probably a selfish thing to admit, but it’s true. Right now, my happy place is right here, walking the roads around Cahersiveen in (almost) sunshine.

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