I was drowning. Yet the only water to be found was in the tears welling in my eyes.

The pressure I felt — in my marrow — 'twas one busy folks often feel. It was the pressure of relentless, unwavering busyness. I was drowning in an ocean of expectations, gasping for breath facing what seemed like an endless to-do list, quickly losing sight of myself and what really mattered. I could see no sign of a horizon, much less a safe harbour.

This was a feeling of slowly increasing pressure — not unusual (I mean who hasn't felt this, right?), although this time it all came to a head on one particular afternoon.

Friday, 11 April, at 3.30 in the afternoon. To. Be. Exact.

Darren, my husband, had just returned from picking up the kids from school. Pat and Kate, twin-powered tornados of seven- and five-year-old energy had whooshed through our office on their way into the house. Maybe they said ‘hi', maybe they didn't — I was so consumed in my own battle for air that I didn't notice.

The shortness of breath and tightness in my chest — both physical and metaphorical — weren't eased by the infectious joy my children typically bestow on me. So often, they provide the antidote for my grown-up world, with their laughter and ‘pull-my-finger' jokes; yet this time, not even them getting home could shift my thinking.

I felt antsy and anxious, positively desperate to do something, anything … but I couldn't think of anything that could fix how I was feeling and give me what I needed — whatever ...

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