a) A detox.
b) A militaristic timetable and 500-point goal-oriented to-do list
c) Merrily shovelling the remnants of a holiday-size tin of Quality Street in my mouth.
I’ve always felt life would be so much better if all the things you didn’t do or change on 1st January were still up for grabs in March or November with no guilt attached. Where you could be walking down the High Street one Wednesday afternoon in say September, and stop dead and think, ‘I want my life to be that, not this. And it’s gonna happen right now.’ Well actually, it can be as simple as that. Let me tell you a story:
WOE WAS ME…
Three years ago I was very unhappy, which baffled me because things were pretty good. I had a nice flat on the Northern Line, I’d met the guy I was going to end up with, and had not long landed the job I’d been chasing for the whole of my career. Life was pretty cushty. I mean, I was too busy and stressed with work to enjoy the time I had with the people who really mattered, or do any of the things I really loved doing, and I moped into my Weetabix every morning, and spent every evening dreading the next day - but life was perfect, right?
SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENEND…
My Dad began to die. He was 62 years old and it took one short, painful year. But before he died, he gave me an utter gift – he told me that he wanted to see me happy, and that if that meant making some pretty scary decisions, I had to make them, and had to make them right now.
FOLLOWED BY SOMETHING INCREDIBLE…
And so I did. I jacked in the best-paid job I’d ever had, with nothing else to go to, during a recession, with just enough money in the bank to pay the next month’s rent. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life: the scarier the path you choose, the better the destination. And I didn’t wait until the calendar flipped another year, or until the ‘perfect time,’ because now I knew there was no such thing. I resigned there and then on an overcast day in September, safe in the knowledge that on whichever journey I was about to embark, at least I was holding the map.
So that’s it. The End.
Well, The Beginning really...
Because since then I’ve been self-employed, and putting food in the fridge and pennies in my purse every month – it’s not been easy, but I’ve nailed the basics. I’ve also had two years of breathing space and time to think about where I really want to be in life, and most importantly, how I’m going to get there. And that is what this blog is about.
So now that I’ve stopped panicking (mostly) about where the next job’s coming from, figured out how to keep myself in steady supply of cheddar cheese and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, got over the shock of no longer working in an office 9-5, and actually started to enjoy life, I have decided to get cracking on a few of the things I spend a lot of time talking about, but not actually doing. Like finishing a novel for one. I have a deadline, the word count is ticking, the plot is thickening and I’m feeling good. Because what's that old saying? "It's not the destination that counts, it's the journey." And as long I'm enjoying that, I'll take all the blunders and false starts along the way with a spring in my step.