In the ‘Final Words’ of my book, I mentioned that making the decision to radically change my life (again!) was something I absolutely knew I had to do. I didn’t want to live in perpetual motion any more with big responsibilities, financial commitments and an unending list of things to do. Life had always been relentless, mostly in a good way – exciting, productive and meaningful. But when things cease to be like that, life quickly becomes a burden. Recognising the need to change is key to stop yourself falling into the abyss.
So, making the decision to change was the easy bit. I was surprised how painless it was to sell (and give away) much-loved possessions collected over many years, including art, beautiful furniture and designer clothes. Actually, it was a relief to get down to the bare essentials in order to move abroad (which was the original plan).
More difficult, was the decision to part with my animal family. Initially, I was going to take them with me. But, in end, I realised that real freedom wouldn’t be possible accompanied by feline and equine friends, and it wasn’t necessarily fair to take them to another country to start a new life, either. Thankfully, once I came to that conclusion, perfect solutions emerged for all of them and I am pleased to report they are very happy in their new homes.
What I hadn’t banked on, was the transition required by the rest of me, in order to catch up with the mental epiphany to change my life. My habitual patterns of behaving, thinking and being, also needed transforming. I am all for looking forwards rather than backwards. Nonetheless, when you are used to constant thinking, self-management, problem-solving, physical activity (in the extreme, and eating a large amount of food to fuel it), and always having a focus - there is much to adjust.
New insights emerged including the realisation that ‘browsing’ or ‘hovering’ in life, doesn't suit me – at all. While I don’t want to be completely consumed by a project, to the point of excluding other things (afterall, the whole point of making a change is to achieve an easier balance, flexibility, spontaneity and a sense of newness), I also need a focus and a means of contributing to the world. It’s part of my makeup; it’s who I am and I can’t deny that. I tried, briefly, and failed!
The plan to move abroad would have provided a great focus (and will do, in the future). But this was put on hold due the ‘madness of our world’. In its place, came the ‘ship on wheels’ project – its design and learning how to use it, also figuring out ‘caravan life’. But it was challenging and, at times, stressful too - not quite what I expected. The ‘ship’ (aka ‘The Freedom’) is a sophisticated piece of kit, and as the user is unsophisticated, in the technical sense, it was a vertical learning curve trying to understand it and its capabilities, not to mention trouble-shooting and getting myself out of a few sticky moments. 9 months later, I love it. It’s perfect, for now, and I have eased into a different tempo and a new life.
Editing my book during the maiden ‘voyage’ last year (a 6 month ‘circumnavigation’ of the British Isles), was a timely reminder of how to deal with various aspects of upheaval and change (the book contains insights gained from many such past experiences). But the book was another project that was much bigger than I expected, and provided my next focus. Finding a publishing partner, creating the design, endless rounds of editing, proofing and yet more proofing (plus some), commissioning a website and creating a PR campaign has been a LOT of work. But I have enjoyed it and the website will give me a permanent (virtual) location plus a means of expressing myself going forwards, in whatever way is appropriate.
So, I have finally caught up with myself and the transition is complete. For now, I am enjoying the better weather, the beautiful countryside and a breathing space, until my next adventure - venturing abroad, in the not too distant future.