Every day on retreat, we write little inspirational quotes on chalkboards propped up on trees and walls around the site. Today’s chalkboards are on a theme, following a conversation with some of our lovely guests at breakfast yesterday morning. They were asking about my life choices – the origin of which I have written about on this blog – but in a nutshell, I had a corporate life, it was pretty nice, I felt successful and had a nice house, friends, leisure time, etc but there was a bit of me that felt like it was slowly dying and that bit was the spirit of adventure.
I’m trying to live a life that feels free. I recognise that we are only really imprisoned by our fear and so to feel free I have to work on being fearless. So I have to work out what I’m afraid of and then systematically put myself in situations that allow me to face the fear.
I am afraid of small spaces with little oxygen underground, I’ve always said I’d never go pot-holing, and yet this week I crawled into the side of a mountain in Morocco and scrambled, squeezed, climbed and slid into the belly of the hill. Continue reading “Face your fears to feel free”
Yesterday I had a little bit of near-death experience. It wasn’t that near, but near enough that I contemplated it for a fraction of a second. I’m in the French Alps and my friend and I went for a drive to the top of the mountain for a little walk and when we came back down the twisty mountain road a guy was racing up the other way, we met him on a bend and his car was side-slipping at great speed right towards us, I was in the firing line if his car had hit us and I was joyous, I wasn’t scared at all, I was ready. My mind said “Is this it? Hit by a mat-black pimped-up rally car on the side of my favourite mountain, OK cool.” I wasn’t even slightly bothered about the prospect of dying, just a bit exhilarated.
Sometimes I count my blessings and make mental lists of my favourite things. It’s also nice to share good news, to try and counteract all the bad news that I don’t watch/read/listen to anymore. I really don’t want to brag, I just want to diarise how lucky I feel to be living this life, if only temporarily. Anyone who knows my story and follows this blog, knows that I just jumped shAnyone fancy a dip?ip from a fortunate, but somewhat average and unfulfilling existence. It won’t and can’t last, but today was a good day and I wanted to record it here for posterity. Continue reading “Blessings: Happiness is a French alpine town”
Having recently taken up snowboarding, having only previously skied, I’ve noticed a number of similarities from when I started to cycle having previously only driven.
What most motorists who have never cycled don’t appreciate is the amount of space to give cyclists. The fact that they have just built up some momentum and would rather not have to hit the brakes, the fact that there may be potholes in the cycle lane (and don’t get me started on the state of cycle lanes!) so they might have to deviate out of it for a second. The fact that they dont have wing mirrors so are less aware of what is behind them. Continue reading “Snowboarders are to skiers what cyclists are to motorists: Discuss”
Before I start moaning, I’m just going to clarify that I’m not moaning: Merely observing the challenges my new life presents me with.
So, on to moaning… There are many hard things about life as a chalet chef/host in comparison to life as an office wallah. Aside from the long hours at unusual times of the day and perpetual chalet finger (skin like sandpaper, deep cracks that never heal etc), the most difficult for me has been lack of personal space. Continue reading “Missing: Personal space. Last seen 30th November, 2012”
Politicians, philosophers, advertisers, market traders: all understand the power that a few choice words can have to sum up their message and repeat ad infinitum in your brain.
And once they’re in I personally find inspiring quotations impossible to shake out. They have a habit of burrowing into my subconscious, nagging at me to change something. Whether they’re the widely repeated musings of the wise and famous, or just something a mate said once in conversation, sometimes a little snippet of text can change your whole life.
So this is part one of the seasonaire’s packing list, in that I’m not out there yet so I have no idea what I’m talking about and in parts two and three I can look back and laugh at my choices when I haven’t used half of the stuff I am taking.
First I laid it all out on the floor… then I panicked for a bit… then I rolled it all up RREEEAAALLLYYY small and shoe-horned it into two giant suitcases – which are now roughly as dense as a neutron star and weigh rather a lot – probably not an actual tonne – but definitely more than I can pick up.
I’m in my mid-thirties and I’ve worked in ‘media’ for about 15 years.
I have a well-paid and challenging job, some savings, my health, great family and lots of friends, most of whom have a partner, kids, a mortgage. I don’t have a partner, kids or a mortgage.
And now I’ve realised that instead of treading water and waiting for the expected pattern of life to happen to me, I should probably take advantage of my freedom and lack of responsibility and ties and do something different. Continue reading “In search of happiness: the diary of a life-makeover”