I don’t know about you but I rather like a lovely new calendar to hang on the wall when the old year takes a final bow and we say hello to a lovely brand new one. This year I have two, a freebie magazine one to go in the kitchen and a very lovely one from a favourite illustrator of mine, Emylou Holmes to hang in my almost finished “Me Room”. It’s too nice to write on, so it’s the kitchen calendar that will be filled with reminders of birthdays, appointments and term dates. One of first jobs I do then when I start using the new calender then is to copy birthdays from last year’s version. It was whilst searching through each month that it occurred to me that most of the dates were blank and that all in all, I had done very little outside of the usual humdrum of daily life. Hospital and doctor appointments cropped up in nearly every month, evenings out with my husband twice, hair appointments that were cancelled three times and hair appointments that I didn’t cancel, twice. One holiday that was cancelled and one that wasn’t. We’d had two weekends away and I’d gone once to Bristol to stay with Jack. What was seriously lacking was having done anything out of the norm. There was a distinct absence of anything resembling an adventure. The closest I got was being invited to a gift wrapping workshop ran by the lovely Amanda of Giftfrippery and met one of my lovely Instagram friends.
Isn’t there a saying that life is one big adventure? I’ve come to the conclusion that life has pretty much coasted along over the last few years and dare I say it, I feel in a bit of a rut. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy with my lot. Far from it. I have a husband who I love to bits, despite sometimes living up to his Grumps rather than Gramps title. Lovely family and friends and no real worries to keep me awake at night. I can honestly say that I am happy, but maybe not fulfilled. What I need and miss is a sprinkling of adventures to keep me on my toes and add a little zest and a smidgen of sparkle to my life, and I’ve feeling in my bones that this is the year that there will be little, or maybe even big, changes a-foot if I put a little effort in and find the confidence to stray out of my comfort zone and take a few risks. I want to look back at my calendar at the end of the year and feel satisfied that I had got off my backside and made the most of 2018.
By adventure, I don’t necessarily mean that I’m going to pack a rucksack and fly off to some distant land and live in backpackers hostels for six months. I know my limitations and besides I went backpacking around the Greek Islands in my early twenties and moaned constantly about the weight of my backpack which probably stuffed with nothing more than a bikini, very short shorts, vests and half a dozen Edna O’Brien and Fay Weldon novels. At 58, I can just about cope with a dinky wheelie suitcase neatly packed with sensible clothing, a shed load of toiletries and plenty Tena products! Given the chance I’d love to explore far-flung and indeed closer to home places but I need a room to myself with a decent bed, air conditioning, WIFI and a kettle for that all important morning cuppa. It’s time that my passport had an airing instead of languishing in my knicker drawer!
So how do I envisage being adventurous? I want to stop playing safe, stop worrying about the ifs and buts and just go for it! Buy a sky blue pink top, rather than a sensible navy one. Go to a festival and not worry about the state of the loos. Take a dip in the sea and not care a fig about my beached whale appearance. Temper chocolate, fillet a fish, make filo pastry. Deal with my driving phobia and the making phone calls issues that I’ve always had.
I’ve been invited twice to visit a local cooking school… so do it. I’d love to spend time by myself by the sea…so do it. Go on a women only retreat…so do it. Arrange to meet my online friends…so do it. I’d love to travel by bus from Land’s End to John O’Groats…so just do it!!!
Maybe my biggest adventure for 2018 though is to do something completely different work wise. A bit of me says that I’ve left it too late to take that leap from a job that I’ve been doing for so long, am good at and in all honesty, enjoy. I feel restless though, my feet are itchy and I feel that I need new challenges. Mr R thinks I should go and work at M&S or John Lewis but retail work is not really me, although saying that, I’d quite happily work in a deli or bakery. I’m going to see out this school year but meanwhile explore potential avenues. Any suggestions would be gratefully received!
Time I stopped tap tapping away here. I am about to be adventurous. I’m going to make marmalade for the first time. So the adventures begin right now!