There are so many really strong valid reasons to stay, to not bother with this potentially dangerous adventure. To stay here in Cheshire where it is safe and where I have my family, my friends, my home, my pets, my garden, my chickens. To wake up each morning and look out and see the low mist lying on the hills, the never ending views from my windows, the sunsets, the bonfires, the veggies in the kitchen garden. I love my life, I am settled now, Alex and Megan are both settled too and on career paths they both love, I am happy, really happy, with the man I love and a job or two that keep me busy and fulfilled. So why on earth would I risk all that on a whim? To set sail around the world, on admittedly a state of the art ocean going racing yacht, but it is tiny in the scheme of things.
The answer is I am not sure really. I suppose its just that I can, I can do anything I set my mind to. I am capable, intelligent, independent, fit and healthy and I am ready for the ultimate challenge. I suppose I was frightened of just spending the next 40 years doing the same old same old. Happily getting up each day, happily going about my daily chores and routines, happily sipping a glass of wine with my happily homemade healthy evening meal, happily getting into my comfy kingsized bed. Repeat…… Happily ever after. I have never really challenged myself, always taking the safe, sensible risk free option. Too sensible sometimes, so it was time to shake things up a bit and surprise myself.
I find myself today in a place that sums up this modern life, things here that have inspired my particular choice of adventure. The Trafford Centre!!! ( I am not here through choice but I need to drop and collect someone off at an event.) The place reeks of over the top consumerism, hordes of window shoppers, heads down, walking up and down, holding a phone in one hand and a Selfridges bag in the other, shopping for just shoppings sake. Thousands and thousands of people spending tens of thousands pounds on just STUFF. Each to their own for sure, it’s just not my idea of a perfect Saturday. It’s a lovely brisk autumnal day, the leaves are just on the turn, gorgeous shades of red and gold, the grass is that vivid lush special green after the parched brown of this summer. The conkers are just starting to ripen and fall, it’s mushrooming season, time to forage, to pick blackberries, scrump apples and pears and make some dodgy cider. Why on earth would anyone actually choose to spend a Saturday wandering up and down the air conditioned mall, heads all bent to look at their little screens clasped so tight. I have been here writing on my lap top, sat at a table by the door looking out for exactly 53 minutes , 37 more to go and then I can make my escape back to the great outdoors. This place makes me want to run, yelling and screaming from its towering roman pillared, fake palm tree filled domes and just keep on running. Although I am sure if you read my training blog you will realise that I use the term ‘running’ loosely, probably a speedy walk in reality. I didn’t always feel this way, don’t get me wrong, I used to be partial to a new pair of shoes or that bargain handbag, but I have changed my outlook. I have realised that my life is too short, too short for me to waste time longing for a particular brand of jeans or that ‘must have’ jacket worn by an A list celeb. I know it is a cliche but life is for meeting new people, making real friends, for adventure, going places, making time to look around, learning new skills and mostly being outdoors. So I chose an adventure that will help me embrace that life. Simples.
The photo is of our kitchen chalk board, I am currently testing out inspirational messages rather than grocery shopping lists. I like this current one as it sums up my outlook. I saw it first on Pinterest and it was originally from a blog called
But it went something like this
Pay attention. When you are distracted, it’s impossible to notice the extraordinary things around you and how you feel about your life. Unplug, look up and be present.
Be grateful. Expressing gratitude will help you stay focused on the magnificent happenings of your day to day life. It feels good to say thank you and it’s always a good reminder of how extraordinary your life is.
Stop comparing. Someone will always have more or less than you. There will always be someone who is better or worse at what you do. You can’t assess who you are or what you have based on others and if your focus is on what they have or do, you can never fully appreciate all of the extraordinary blessings in your own life. Even your past and future cannot be measuring sticks for your life today. Keep your eyes on your own paper.
Let go. Every time I think something has a hold on me, I realise I’m the one with the tight grip. Don’t be afraid of space and the absence of all the things you think you need to be happy and secure. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Make space. Clear out the clutter and the excess. You need space and room to pay attention to what matters most.
Slow down. The extraordinary life you’ve been waiting for is happening right now. While you are racing to the finish, making plans, keeping up and getting by, your extraordinary life is patiently waiting for a warm welcome. Slow your pace and look around or come to a complete stop to fully appreciate what is right in front of you.
Admire small miracles. Extraordinary isn’t always in the grand gestures and big impressive changes or events. Revel in the little things like the first bite of a ripe piece of fruit, a beautiful view, a stranger’s kind smile or some of the other things that happen every day. Enjoy small pleasures and find love in the little stuff.
Write it down. Keep a journal to record some of the extraordinary things in your daily life. Knowing that you’ll be recording your observations will be a reminder to notice and the more you notice it, the more you will notice it.
Act like a tourist. You might get used to your surroundings and daily events and forget about the extraordinary parts. Be a tourist in your own life and back garden and see things for the first time. Remember how that view used to wow you, or how the way someone treated you used to make your heart race. Recapture awe by changing your lens.
Be extraordinary. The best way to live an extraordinary life is to be extraordinary. Be extraordinary in how you treat people, including yourself. Be extraordinary in how you choose to spend your time. Be extraordinary through your thoughts, words and actions.