In a couple of weeks my husband sets off to ride his motorcycle from the top of Alaska down to the bottom of Argentina, so for 5 months me and our threenager will be flying solo. I realise I might be in the minority of women being OK with their other halves buggering off on such a sizeable jolly as this, but to me life is about having the courage to follow your dreams. Its super exciting and I’m very proud of him, not least as he’ll also be raising money for UNICEF along the way.
I was reading a post a few months ago on one of the mum forums I follow and it really struck a chord. It was written by a single mum, she has no parents or family just a small group of friends, and she was talking about how to spend days like Mothers Day and Christmas Day when its just you and your kid home alone. It really made me wonder what I have to worry about in life, with all the people I have around me I’m in paradise compared to her. Talk about getting a bit of perspective. I’ll miss my husband of course, and no doubt I’ll have some days that I feel down, but in the grand scheme of things its a drop in the ocean.
You might be wondering how his trip came about, did he wake up one morning and casually announce the plan to ride the length of the planet over a bowl of cornflakes? Its actually something he’s always wanted to do, but this year things have finally come together so he can go. And go he must, because frankly, I’m a bit sick of talking about it! Joking aside, the trip is a big deal and so few people ‘get it’. It comes down to perspective I guess: is life an adventure or is it a set-template to be followed? Then there’s the guilt; can someone pursue their passion and be a parent?
I don’t mean everyone should pack up and piss off travelling, and in a way its simpler than that. Just do the thing that makes you happy even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. I’d love to think our daughter will be able to follow his example because I know I’ve let ‘the fear’ win in the past so ended up choosing less risky avenues but I don’t want that for her.
The toughest thing I’ve had to realise is that life doesn’t change unless you make it change. I spent years of my pre-motherhood life hoping, or worse, assuming, that life would eventually bring the things I want. But the truth is I have to be the instigator, and what’s the point in life if I don’t try? And that’s the tough part, because actually going for something feels like stepping off the edge of a cliff. No matter what it is I want to do: write a book or start a brand, it means I have to put myself out there and be prepared to fail. I’m no life coach, and I’m conscious those last few sentences might seem a little cliched, but as life lessons go this is a biggie.
Maybe my husband’s trip has inspired me, its not often one gets to witness someone dream big and have the courage to make it happen. But being on the sidelines isn’t enough anymore, and passion is an infectious thing.