What to do when the near end of vacation and the vision of returning to work cause overwhelming stress

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

My longest vacation since I was on maternity leave, which is over 3 years, is now coming to an end. Two weeks with children on the go, without any stress or major problems. Complete relaxation. Unfortunately, this time is running out and my head has already started to think about it. I had nightmares that were a mix of fears and hypothetical situations that I will face next week. It’s hard for me to calm down, and a large ball of stress builds up in my stomach, which includes packing, a whole day trip home, unresolved matters left there before…


Recreating childhood emotions as an adult on a journey to old places

Traditional rafting down the Dunajec River — author’s photo

There are places in our life that are unique to us. Not because they are the most beautiful or because something important has happened there, but because of the emotions evoked in them. Visiting them is like a spiritual journey into ourselves, especially when the return takes place after over 25 years. I have been waiting for my own this long and traversing the region after such a long break was like constant deja vu. The air, sounds, and smells unlocked images that I remember from the best vacations of my childhood.

The first time

I was my older daughter’s age when we…


A story about waiting for the inevitable, the first experience of passing, and about pure unconditional love

Photo by Veit Hammer on Unsplash

She is lying next to me and stroking behind my ear. Very nice feeling. It feels good when she is close. She is my favorite person here. She would leave me for a while sometimes, but when she comes back I am happy and the pain is passing. This time she is sad. She is crying. Something is different.

- Mom, is he going to die? I don’t want him to die! I love him the most in the world! Is there nothing we can do?
- Sorry, the operation is very risky at his age. He may live for a…


How to regain inner peace, do not expect too much, but believe that everything will be just fine at the end

Photo by Crystal Shaw on Unsplash

Aging is not the issue

Sometimes we make decisions that affect everything around us, and when they cost you a lot, you think it’ll get better later. For nearly seven months of living alone with my children after ending a long difficult relationship, I have a lot of thoughts on this subject, but I try not to go back to the past too often. What is happening here and now is much more important. Nevertheless, I sometimes worry about the future and wonder that nothing good in love will happen to me anymore.

On July 20, I turned 39. My teenage daughter said I shouldn’t…


Sometimes there is no other option but to make a choice and then wait patiently to see what happens

Picture provided by the author

Cutting off

It’s been six months since I’ve lived alone with my children. Looking from the side, you could say that it can’t be easy for me because everything is on me. But honestly? These are the best months in years, if not my entire life. Perhaps it was because, whether I noticed it or not, I was in a very relationship with someone who wasn’t good for me. Or perhaps we were not right for each other in the first place. …


How to go from ‘crying on the bathroom floor’ to ‘consistently overcoming difficulties’

Photo by Matteus Silva de Oliveira from Pexels

There are days, and sometimes entire periods in your life, when you feel that you can no longer make it. Especially when you have made a difficult and unpopular life decision, and everything that happens later seems to be punishing you for it. It’s really important not to let your momentary emotions win and to realize one thing — it’s all in your head. What is happening is the result of unworked fears, prejudices and often misunderstood remorse. You actually have two choices.

Either you sit in the bathroom and cry how bad you are now, or you pull yourself…


Is the so-called sixth sense something real or an invention justifying a subjective assessment of people and situations?

Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

“I knew!” — a thought that I have had too often about situations in which, as I call it, I was not listening to myself. The omnipresent “gut feeling” is something that is part and parcel of me, and I actually take it for granted. However, having an intuition and listening to it are two different things. I am a rationalist. I keep my feet on the ground, assess the facts, make most decisions based on cold judgment. In all organizational and professional matters. But not when it comes to relationships, people and social situations.

First impression

Have you ever felt like…


What to do when the usual simple ways fail and you can no longer cope

Photo by Ruslan Alekso from Pexels

Being at home can feel like a trap. A year ago, I spent all April babysitting my children with the first big wave of the virus. Time has come full circle and it is the same again. I should be better prepared, especially mentally, but the fact is, I’m just terribly tired. I suppose you are too.

I haven’t been able to write or paint for weeks, I have no appetite and I lack ideas for de-stressing myself and my kids. Books also lie on the shelves and collect dust, because the world they present seems like they’re all fantasy…


Heavy snowfall and frost in the countryside helped me overcome the worst time after breaking long-term toxic relationship

Photo by Hide Obara on Unsplash

The last week has given me a hard time. I actually feel more like an inhabitant of a wild ice land than an office worker. The problems with the harassing ex eased a bit, and in return, my body had a chance to get a workout to give my head a rest.

Because in fact, sometimes it takes a decent physical springboard for the mind to calm down.

It was at this point in life that the most cold and snowy winter in many years came to the rescue. Due to the fact that for almost two years I have…

Katarzyna Orłow

Polish by birth and residence. A passionate writer, painter and sailor. On a daily basis, an office manager, mother of two girls, reading and DIY enthusiast.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store