Sunday, 3 June 2012

Life is out there

Hmmm I guess the last post didn't seem like a very logical follow-on from the previous one, and since no-one commented maybe I need to fill in some gaps for y'all so I don't come across as a total manic depressive!!!

Things have been a bit tough in some regards just lately. We have set the wheels in motion to jump off a train that was going to fast for us. It's called the rat race.

My husband set up his own company several years ago, which was doing what he really loved at the time. Kind of accidentally but not. He loved the work. And they have this BIG client. Who pays well. In bank account terms. But holy mother of god, it comes at a cost.

Over the last year in particular, I feel like our family has reached a point when this type of work is seriously bad for our health. Mentally, it has been too much. As in, total burn-out. As in periods of not sleeping properly, having middle-of-the-night panic attacks, feeling stressed and overwhelmed for certain periods which do pass but which have felt like they were getting more the norm than the exception. I cannot blame it all on the work thing. Home edding full-time takes its toll too.

There have been more moments than I care to admit over the last year when I have just sat on my own and thought to myself "I can't cope, I can't cope, I can't cope". There have been some days when I woke up and just thought, you know what? Life is just tooo hard. It hurts my head. It's too much trying to figure out all the different logistics of modern living, of western living, of integrating so many expectations, needs, schedules, and agendas even just within our own family let alone the wider world beyond. Managing bills, insurances, running cars. All that middle class crap we buy into. Trying to figure out where to go, what to do, which people to see when, which food to buy where, how ethical x, y and z are. Asking big existential questions. Whether I want to live where I am or move. How I feel about so many things. Whether I am following my heart and doing my true life's work. Whether that whole concept is bullshit anyway. What will make my kids and husband happy. What will make me happy. What will keep all my friends happy. The weight of things said and unsaid. Being afraid. Feeling small. Worrying what others think.

I have been such a bundle of worries for a while, and I need some headspace away from the merry-go-round of our home and work life. Somewhere to get a different perspective, to re-calibrate. To find some peace and calm again. A two week holiday isn't gonna cut it. This is some serious life-shifting we need to do.

And so, much to the puzzlement of friends who say things like "Who winds up a profitable business and jacks it all in?" ...we are doing exactly that. We are jacking it in. We are trying to climb out of this hole we have dug for ourselves. And it excites and scares the bejeezus out of me in equal measure.

In order to do this we are making people redundant. Last week we hit some low points, swam in the murkiest of emotions, felt wretched, horrible, sick. On some levels it feels utterly selfish doing what we are doing, in the middle of a recession. There are complicated, long drawn out logistical processes that have to occur in a certain order, and it is not something we have any experience of so its a steep learning curve. Trying to leave the business whilst creating the least damage. High emotions. Friendship testing times.

But we are slowly going in the right direction. As insane and scary as it sometimes seems in our odd moments of panic. I think we are doing the right thing.

There is a chance that a friend may rent our house for 6-12 months and look after our doggy so that we can rediscover some peace, balance, and family togetherness whilst exploring the world beyond these uber- flat fenlands. We plan to work at different projects whilst seeing some of the world with the children and exposing all of us to different standards of living, different ways of living, different ways of seeing.

At the moment I am sustained by a lot of love. Love from my husband and children. Love from friends and wider family. Love from further afield, love which connects the dots all over this planet and means more than money or stuff. The heart connection we have with people. Friendship is everything.

This weekend we had an awesome time with good friends. many of them are well travelled. And I feel so completely ignorant and small when I realise how little we really know of life in some ways. We know that our kids will not learn everything they need to know about life if we just stay here in our cosy bubble. They need to get out there and touch, taste, see, feel, experience the wider world for themselves in the way only kids can.

I want to get closer to my hubby and kids whilst at the same time throwing us all into new situations, exposing us all to new sensations, flavours, smells, sights and sounds. To learn first hand about the world instead of reading about it in books or in documentaries. Or hearing friends talking about their adventures, second hand. I want to learn, to have the time and headspace to write, to gain insights into birthing wisdom and practices in other countries. Hubba Hubba has some fantastic ideas he's been itching to do for ages, and maybe now we can finally do them! I hope that we will come back refreshed and renewed, clearer headed, revitalised. More appreciative of our lives.

I love my friends and family. I have so many blessings in my life. I know that there are opportunities and many good things here. But I'm feeling a call. Like the wind in Chocolat. And it whispers of adventure and daring to let go and surrendering to new experiences. New friendships to be made.

Life is out there. And I want to grab it with both hands, with open arms, with a lust for life and a joie de vivre thats been lacking in my life of late.

Maybe we are crazy. Maybe it will all go tits up. I hope it doesn't.

Whatever happens we will have some interesting adventures!

If not now, then when?


  1. Sounds like you had the catalyst (overwork) that you needed to make a change. So much of what you said resonates deeply with me, I too have thought the same thoughts and felt ground down by the weight and expectations of life. Our adventure sounds smaller than yours may be, but it definitely has given us insights and understanding of ourselves and what we want. Also, that there is no such thing as the perfect life. So we are back and some days I again feel the squeezy pressure of too many demands. I don't really know the answer for us... I hope you find rest and peace and have a great time along the way xx Love, Lou xx

  2. Thank you Lou. Your own adventure is not small by any means! It's all an experience you can put under your belts and you'll have many more along the way I'm sure! I don't think travelling will change our basic personalities too much but it will at least give us different perspectives and experiences to look back on, and the different challenges we will face will build our character and strength and give us some nice memories and friendships to add even more colour to our lives :-) Xx

  3. Life is out there waiting to be grabbed. At several stages in our life's were have had to reassess our lifestyles. Eight years ago we moved up to a run down cottage in the Lake district and six years later at a very stressful time in our families life I gave up my job of 25 years, a job which I loved but which was weighing me down.We are so much happier. What we have lost in money we have made up for in time and children are young for such a short time. Nothing is a failure just a new experience!Good luck from the bottom of my heart.

  4. Thank you so much for your kind words, reassurances and sharing. Its great to hear from you folks who have come through the other side, smiling! :-)

  5. I have heard many a time the saying "the grass isn't always greener" "don't always be in search of greener pastures" "make the best of what you have". I get all of that BUT, if you feel the need to adventure and you feel the need to explore and experience something different you can't help it, it's just something you have to do. Go do it and embrace the adventure. I wish you all the best with whatever plans unfold x

  6. Thank you my dear fellow adventure seeker! X

  7. "The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground" - Chogyam Trungpa

    I see you as like a trapeze artist - you have let go of one bar, but not yet caught hold of the next bar. Scary but thrilling too. Don't feel guilty about the redundancies. Everything changes. You might have been the catalyst that allowed those people to let go of their own bar and swing to the next adventure.

    Much love and good vibes ((()))

  8. Oh so excting! I am thrilled for you!
    It seems a few of my friends are now jaunting off on adventures. I am feeling the call myself.
    Earlier this evening I sat down with hubby and told him we have to do something. That i am screaming inside and big changes have to happen. We have to move. A couple of hours later and I come read your post here! Will be getting him to read your beautifully crafted words! :)
    Wishing you all the happiness in the world, and do keep us updated on your adventures! Yay!!!! xxx

  9. Ach wherever we go Laura, we are swimming in this big cosmic swirl of beauty and pain and magic and muck and joy and sorrow. Whether its here or half way round the world. No escaping the yin and yang of it all. An amazing thing struck me the other day - flowers grow in some weird places! Half-way up a building. Out of a piece of horseshit. Bust their way through concrete. Beautiful things grow everywhere, and the more crappy the environment the more wonder and smiles they bring to others. I saw a poppy growing out of a tub of old soil and weeds I havent got round to dumping on the compost the other day - it made me smile. And sometimes if we move, we meet others who change our world, and sometimes if we stay we meet others who change our world too. so both staying and going have their value are both good and positive so go where you want and you'll be exactly where you need to be. We really must get together soon so I can admire your bump and give you a big cuddle :-) x x x

    1. P.S. Would you like a bag of raw wool? It's from Bircham Windmill, and smells heavenly! xxx