I Have Never Been So Worried

Last Update: June 15, 2019

Thought I would express my disappointment in myself and share my worry over the last few days. I am the sort of person that likes all their ducks in a row... I am beginning to realise that this is causing me a lot of excess worry that does not do me any good. But Im not sure how to control it.

As you all know I am travelling in Africa with my son, who is a junior international tennis player. We are in Rwanda, we arrived yesterday after two days of travelling.

We set off from Malaga on Wednesday evening, I thought I would just check all the details of the travel - all the visas etc that we needed. I happened to go onto a website about Rwanda that said Yellow Fever vaccinations are mandatory in Rwanda, they dont have yellow fever and you do not need it if you are travelling from a country that does not have it.

I thought.. ok so Im travelling from Spain via UK both of which do not have yellow fever so good to go, but one place that they do demand it from is Kenya, we were travelling through Kenya airport.... I was beside myself with worry, to the point that I vomited. I have never got so worried before. All I could think was all the money we have spent to get to Rwanda would be wasted. We would be stuck in Nairobi not able to fly out.

My only thought was speaking to the Rwandan High Commission in London to see if transiting through Nairobi was acceptable but by this time it was closed.

So we travelled to London, stayed overnight in a hotel, I hardly slept, worried sick. With a headache we boarded the flight to Nairobi, i had asked my husband to ring the high commission but so far he had not got through. About 5 minutes from take off, my husband texted, if we stayed in the airport overnight and did not leave, we would be classed as transit passengers and allowed into Rwanda..... OMG! I literally CRIED with relief !! My son's dad works so hard to pay for all this, I thought I had let him down by making such a monumental mistake. We had taken a financial hit when our son got to the finals in Namibia a few weeks ago, changing the flights so he could play the final was eyewateringly expensive. Thank God that this was ok... But I wasnt fully calm until we got through border control at Kigali airport and we were allowed into Rwanda.


I think the moral of the tale is that even if you think you have all your ducks in a row, you probably dont, and how you cope with it from there on is a challenge but not the end of the world. We were lucky, I feel, and I really dont want to go through that again. The trouble is that I can see other trips, Im going to be paranoid about what we need/do . Thats not a good state to be in, I need to cope with it better.

The wifi here is not great. My work here is going to be stressful to keep up with the blogging challenge in SAC but we are here two weeks, not that long, I will try to work through the stresses as calmly as I can, I realise how lucky I am to live where I do, I couldnt live here.

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fyre Premium
I am so grateful that WA is a safe space where we can tell our life stories and share our very real feelings with each other.

As worried as you were you made it through and, you did it as a family!

I just wrote my Momma a long letter wishing her a happy Father's day because my Dad has passed and, I wanted to let her know how strong she has been for our family. I'm saying that because even though she is strong she may well have completely crumbled under that level of pressure in lands that would have been a massive culture shock for her. *she can't even get on a plane without a near-nervous-breakdown*

So, in my eyes, you are one heck of a Mom!

I used to beat myself up regularly for feeling that I was never doing enough, never good enough at what I was doing, always worrying that all my efforts would be thwarted every move I made to better myself.

Worry got me nowhere but, actions did! When I stopped beating myself up over the small & even huge stuff I had quite a shift in my life and my well being.

That wasn't an overnight thing---it had to become a practice.

You can read all the fluffy-feel-good meme's in the universe about 'loving yourself just the way you are' but, it's actually a practice!

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Even though you stated that you have a history of stressing when all your ducks aren't taking your direct orders---that's okay too.

What you just experienced isn't a run-of-the-mill situation but, as you and others have expressed in comments it's a huge eye-opener when you visit a, to put it loosely, not as fortunate of a country. Similar scaled situations I've encountered definitely took 'sweating the truly small stuff' out of my daily routine.

I used to treat myself terribly for what I didn't do instead of celebrating the good, decent and kind person I truly am.

All that said though, I still get what you said at the beginning of your article "Thought I would express my disappointment in myself"---you recognized what you did to yourself and, you took steps to work through it---I think that's pretty magnificent.

Don't get me wrong--I still have some choice words for myself here and there BUT, I learned to acknowledge those thoughts and feelings and, then---I give myself respect, gratitude, and love. It's my job to change the story I tell myself--no one else can do that for me!

Huge *Hugggz through Spaaace!* and, many blessings on you, your family, your business and, the rest of the Tennis journey!
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Debs66 Premium
Hi, Helen,
If it's any consolation your son has amazing parents. Some parents wouldn't even bother doing half of what you do.
I think you and your family are amazing.

Sometimes life's trials and tribulations are there to test us to our limits and as the saying goes. ''What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.''

I think you are wonderful.
Helen Despite all the worries you have I think you are truly amazing. As is your son and his Dad.

Hope you are ok. :)

We are all thinking of you. Keep us posted on how you go the next few weeks.
Debs :)
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Helen123 Premium
Thankyou so much Debs! Really thoughtful and kind words! ☺️
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Debs66 Premium
;)
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AlexEvans Premium
Hi Helen hope all goes well and you can relax into your journey and that your son does well with his tennis, what an adventure and it will be something that he will remember.

It can be so hard dealing with the if's, but's and maybe's, I think that making the recognition that we are troubled by this can be the start of seeking new directions.

There is something incredibly powerful in crossing bridges as we get to them and not trying to cross them ten miles before we get to them, it is a work in progress and it doesn't happen overnight but it is definitely worthwhile putting in the effort to move forward.

You will get it sorted, best wishes, from a world champion ex overthinker.
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Helen123 Premium
Thankyou! I will try to work on it. I thought I was doing well, but this is definitely a set back. Good to know I’m not alone!
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dksomers Premium
57 years ago we left Latin America for the US, our home---there is no place like home. And there is not a better way to discover that than living or visiting in another country where most live in unimaginable poverty, diseases are rampant, crime, the economy is unproductive, dictators run the country etc.

We lived in a very large city, the temperature was ideal, the mountains were gorgeous, the people were very good to us, the fresh fruit delicious; but no dairy products (no cheese, no ice cream), limited canned food, etc.---there is no place like home.

Here we always wake up in the morning thankful to God for where we live, the opportunities we have, the freedom, our family, the neighbors, friends, medical care, incredible technology, and more, and more . . .
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Helen123 Premium
You’re so right.. it has made me grateful that I live where I do. Thankyou for taking the time to make me feel better.
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GlenPalo Premium
Glad it worked out for you.

Your story reminds me of an international trip I took years ago. Meningitis was a big issue in the destination country. Fortunately, I traveled with my shot card, which shows I had a valid meningitis inoculation.

Passengers without proof lined up for a shot before proceeding into the immigration area of the terminal. I don't know what the procedure was for passengers who did not elect to have the shot.
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SaraPoyner Premium
Firstly, You need to give yourself a massive pat on the back and know that you are amazing!. To be travelling to so many different countries, with so many different visa's and rules is stressful and complicated. If you have all your ducks in a row, doing all that, then YOU ARE SUPER WOMAN!

Secondly, In the midst of all that you are logging into WA, and writing a post. AMAZING!.

I get super stressed when My family and I just go on our family vacation to one destination. I am stressed through the whole airport part and do not relax until I am sat on the balcony with a glass of wine in my hand.

That is the wonderful thing about this crazy exciting life. the ducks are never always in a row. Life will knock one off line slightly or know right off the imaginary shelf we all balance them on!.

So please, give yourself some love and self care. Treat yourself to a relaxing bath, do something that you love and next time know that you are doing the best you can, and your best sounds pretty awesome to me.

Much Love
Sara
x
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Helen123 Premium
Thankyou Sara, that was so thoughtful to show me that I am still doing my stuff! I pride myself on being organised, it’s a shock to see I’ve left a duck drop, but I can see I’m not alone! Makes me feel better!☺️
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mcknisu Premium
Hi Helen, I would be stressed out also. Try to keep your cool and focus on your son's exciting challenges for now. I am sure you will both get through this ok. Cheers!!
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ElaineR1 Premium
Helen,

I am the same, a planner. What a curveball you were thrown at the last minute! And where our children are concerned, it’s double the worry.

One thing is for sure. In life we will always be thrown curveballs. It’s how you handle them that matters.

You problem-solved the situation perfectly! Kudos to you!

Hope your son does well in the competition!

Best wishes,
Elaine
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KenShaddock Premium
Wow Helen. What challenges you faced. An overcame. Guess your son is not taking any of the stress on board in his tennis.
Thank you for sharing.
Ken
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Helen123 Premium
He’s cool Ken, he said he had a feeling it would all be ok!
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laparra1 Premium
Good Morning Helen,

The title of your post got me worried so I am relieved reading all is well in the end.

Greetings from the south of Spain, Taetske
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MelWaller Premium
Helen, you can PM me if you need to, but I would highly recommend reading/listening to Eckhart Tolle. Everything he has is incredible and it can change your life.

Your anxious about a future that doesn't exist, except in your mind.

It was because I have done the same thing in the past and I didn't know how to break from that.

Eckhart teaches us to be truly present in the Present Moment. In the Now. So we're not living in the past as so many do over and over again and we're not projecting into the future either.

Yes, we can have goals and plan and prepare for the future, but there is no point in creating drama about a situation that does not exist in the present moment and in all likelihood will not exist when the time comes.

And when I or you forget this and become aware of what we are doing, he has some simple techniques to bring us right back to the present moment.

I am so thankful for learning this. It has improved the quality of my life.

To Your Success!

Mel
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CordeliaN Premium
Oh Helen, I felt your pain every step of the way... I used to be a travel agent for 20 or so years and I was a “Tailor Made” consultant, meaning it was Never run of the mill. There were many hiccups and problems no matter how well we had planned for them, but they do occur, (especially when visiting 3rd world, or foreign office guidelines against travel) or indeed visa and vaccines, now throw into the mix a German Measles outbreak, Ice Cloud, hurricanes, Tsunamis and other acts of God and you wonder how any of us travel at all.
But we do,
You mentioned in your blog it’s about mindset and how we deal with the problem that makes us who we are.. But Travel is such a terribly stressful time..
I have a couple of websites that we used when I was previously in Travel, advice and guidance sites, (Tour one and travel agents) which you may find useful especially for visas requirements.
I will private message them.
People forget to check when in transit but you may still require vaccines and visas even if you don’t pass through passport control

But well done for asking someone to call the High Commissioner. 😁
Have the Embassy on speed dial when next you travel to 3rd world or FO concern, you will probably never need it,

Good luck for your Son’s tennis tournament
Xx
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Helen123 Premium
Thankyou! I really could do with goto sites for up to date info, so much in the web is out of date.
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CordeliaN Premium
sadly the web sites are out of date because the FO. and EU change their advice so frequently, as do some countries like China.

But I will forward the links.

How is tournament going? 🤞
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Helen123 Premium
He’s been seeded so he doesn’t play until Tuesday. He’s training, getting used to the courts and altitude. All going well so far.
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derekmarshal Premium
Just accept everything, relax and enjoy..I seen military coups, Earthquakes, Serious floods and tornado...and relaxed through them all. You just can't prepare for everything.

Even been denied entry to a country where all my belongings were (I was on an extended border run) and questioned leaving a country (let alone upon entry!).

Live, love, laugh and smile as often as you can.

Malaga Airport...not the best of facilities as I remember it but closer to the beach it could not be!!.

Enjoy where you are..my goodness unique part of the world! I'd love to travel Africa!.
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Helen123 Premium
thanks Derek
That puts things into perspective, and I think that was what I was lacking on Wednesday.. perspective on the situation, hence the overreaction to the situation. It is a unique part of the world, high altitude and very different to Namibia where there are only 800,000 in the whole country, here there is more than that in just Kigali!
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laparra1 Premium
Good Morning Derek,

Looking out of my workroom window to the North, in the far distance, I can see the planes coming in preparing for landing.

Greetings from the south of Spain, Taetske
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derekmarshal Premium
Sometimes small is good, haha really. 10million in Bangkok, wild crazy in HCM (probably about 4/5M) but most over populated place I have ever seen - built to hold maybe 250-300k max.

Rush hour..grab a tree and HODL! The bikes come up on the pavement and like a tsunami!! thousands of them!! quite frightening...and you and on the pedestrianised area the pavement!.

enjoy the tranquility of a small population.
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Swangirl Premium
I am so, so glad to hear it worked out and you made it! Congratulations on getting this far! Good job! Best of luck to your son.

Jessica
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Helen123 Premium
Thanks jessica, Its a relief and great to be able to get support here..for more than just my online business. But hoping the internet her holds out enough so I can get on with that too !
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Swangirl Premium
Yes, that would be great.

I am up way too late (3 am here) since I might have stumbled on another key to my health problems and possible treatment...it is never ending but exciting to find glimmers of hope.

I better get to bed. I hope everything works out well for you there!

Jessica
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Helen123 Premium
I do a lot of work late at night but not usually 3am unless Im listening to Jay ! In Spain his webinars start at 2am. I am sorry to hear you are unwell. I hope that you are able to get on top of things very soon.

Helen xx
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks Helen.
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Twack Premium
Taking any lessons from this, going forward, has to be a good thing. After reading your previous posts it's obvious that you are a meticulous planner and leave no stone unturned. This one just threw you a curve ball and had you not read the article you may not have been any wiser and not worried. Now, at least you will be even more vigilant which means that your worry level should be lower as you will have more chance of making sure you have all the ducks, whether they're in a row or not.
I look forward to hearing about the outcome of the tournament.
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Helen123 Premium
Thankyou ! Ill keep you updated if I can!
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SteveMand Premium
Serious question - does your son see how much you worry and does it affect him? Or do you manage to keep it secret from him?

I know that if I had someone around me who got that stressed out it would make me more stressed and I am a very laid back person.
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Helen123 Premium
I try to not stress him out.. he knew I was stressed about this, but was saying, look we can sort this, its going to be ok and he wasnt fazed by me after that. I have gotten a whole lot better about not stressing him with things, I keep most of them to myself. But its only this latest issue that i realise I am a stressy person and wish I wasnt,.
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SteveMand Premium
The way I look at it is nothing in life (apart from the health of your friends and family) is really worth worrying about as in 100 years everyone of us alive now will be gone and no one will know about us (unless we achieve something really remarkable).

However I know if you are a naturally stressy person it isn't a case of just switching it on and off.

Have you considered seeing if there is any counselling or something just to try and help you stress less?
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Helen123 Premium
Ive not thought about counselling before but I have to be honest, when I was going through it on Wednesday I really thought i needed to get some support. of course now Im fine again, I dont !
I want my son to be world famous, to be remembered as an amazing tennis player, but you are right, if we hadn't got into Rwanda, that would not have had much of an impact on him, and certainly this time next year, it would not have even been anything. Fortunately for him, his tennis coaches spend way more time with him than I do and they are super calm.
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