Life is all about the journey. This has been my mantra for a long time. It is something I believe. Something I strive to remember daily. Something that prompts me to focus on things and enjoy them to the full. I wear it on my blog. I wear it on my wrist. It’s on my iPad case. If I had a tattoo it I would wear it on my skin (it’s ok mum, I’m not going to do that!).
I’ve written about it a few times on here before, naturally. And I really hope that it comes across to people who know me in real life too. It’s the whole point of my things to do list. And it’s the reason I get up every morning. Because life is made up of every day, every moment, every step.
Recently a couple of people I know have embarked on massive adventures. They are very different kinds of adventures, but for both they have taken over their every moment and will with no doubt whatsoever change their lives forever. Both have commented that they think about pretty much nothing else. And both have inspired me.
One has become a mummy. You remember Michelle from Operation Threadbare? I was partly responsible for her year long challenge to stop buying clothes and shoes. A self-confessed fashion lover and shopaholic she didn’t find it easy at all. But one thing made it a whole lot harder than anticipated… during Operation Threadbare Michelle became pregnant with her first child (and no, we didn’t even let her buy maternity clothes!). She gave birth to a baby girl nearly two weeks ago now, and her adventure as a mother is well underway. She has evolved her Operation Threadbare blog into “It’s All Normal” and I can recommend her posts – if you want an insight into what kind of adventure becoming a mum is, you should read what she has to say.
The other is about to embark on a round the world trip of a lifetime. Tara has handed in her notice at work and booked round the world air tickets to take her to some amazing places. She’s going to start in Africa and is planning to visit China and South East Asia later this year and early next year. She’s been and had some injections already, and has been researching endlessly. As part of her trip she is going to do some volunteer work – her first project will be as an Education and Community Development intern in Zambia. Fabulous. Oh and she’s also going to run in every country she visits and take a travel photo a day while she’s away – you can follow what she’s up to on Rise and Shine, Paps.
There is no other way to describe what my friends are doing than adventure. I guess I’ve got a bit of the green eyed monster about me when I look at them and when I read their blogs. I am so pleased for them both, and I want some of what they’re having. It’s not the specific adventure I crave; I’m not ready for motherhood and I am in no position to give up my house and car and job and jet off around the world, but I see in them real motivation and real spirit. They are both facing their chosen adventure with elegance and grace, and most importantly they are going for it with everything they’ve got. That is the key I think; they have chosen their path and are following it with their head and their heart. I love that about them.
In my day job I have the absolute pleasure of being allowed to help encourage and advise young people on what they might want to do in the next step of their lives. When I’m given the opportunity I always tell them to choose their next step based on something they love. We always do better when we put everything into what we’re doing, and we only put everything into what we’re doing when we are doing something we love. My problem, and I’m well aware of my downfall, is that I want to do everything. And in fact I know I can’t. I can’t put everything I have into everything I want to do, that is simply impossible. So I have to start choosing my adventures more carefully. I can (and will) continue to have lots and lots of experiences (that things to do list is not going anywhere!), but I must spend time and effort on fewer things in order to get more out of them. There are never enough hours – choosing what to spend mine on has to be done wisely.
So Michelle and Tara, I hope you don’t mind me using you as the subject of this blog post. Thank you for inspiring me with your attitude to adventure. Keep writing those blogs and enjoy every moment of the path in life you are taking. Here’s to adventure!