The book isn’t going to write itself

I’m 42 years old this year and I haven’t got a bloody clue what I want to do with my life. I mean – I thought I might’ve found my life’s purpose by now. One thing I am sure of, is I hate my current job and I have no idea how to get out. I feel trapped. Sure it pays the bills, but if it were a competition between the job and watching snails race… or paint dry…or any other of those synonyms that explain how excruciatingly bored I am at work… How do you start a new career at 41 if you don’t even know what you want that career to be?

I have tried many ways to work this out. I have delved deep into my soul. What makes me happy? What am I good at? What can I do with my one wild and precious life? This soul searching resulted in a massive heart to heart with my partner last night, who cuddled me as the tears fell and the frustration came pouring out. He asked of me the same questions I have been asking myself. I do not know the answers. Yet.

As we followed my ideals and dreams, we ended up taking a journey to live in the Lakes (for the outdoors and running and hills) with a hippy shop selling crystals and beautiful jewellery and books. There was a room for holistic treatments and also a big space at the back (with a wooden floor) for Yoga, meditation, art classes, creative writing workshops, etc. He said dream big. I don’t think he was expecting that I have got to 41 and my big life’s dream is to be a hippy.

I think I have been waiting for some divine inspiration, something to fall out of the sky so I can say, “yes, that’s me, – I want to do THAT”. I am happiest when my brain is active – or the opposite – when I can lose myself in the creativity. I love writing, but have been suffering huge writers block from the moment I decided I wanted to write. I love painting and drawing – and yet I have not picked up a pencil or a paint brush in years. These are things I need to remedy, not least as they are the things that make me most happy.

I have realised that I cannot wait for the magic opportunity to land on my doorstep. Hoping and dreaming is not enough. I need to take the time to create the life I want to lead. I need to take steps to start. After all, the book ain’t going to write itself.

 

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Flu perspective

So this week I had a couple of days off work with a feverish virus and chesty cough – meaning bed/sofa rest. I just love it when people “soldier on” at work and bring their germs in to share with everyone else. Yep, well done Shirley, you’ve earned brownie points for coming in while you’re dying of flu.. sure the bosses were very grateful. Maybe not so much for the wave of the next 9 people in the office getting sick from your germs and then having to take time off work.

I thought I had got away with it. I was quite smugly wandering around life, safe in the knowledge that I’m fit, I sleep well, my diet is good, and I take lots of vitamins. “This flu ain’t getting me.” And then it appeared, out of nowhere and struck me down in a flash. Teach me for being flu cocky. This one’s a beast!

My eyes were too hot, and the headache too harsh, to read. Even phone scrolling social media was tricky.Β  Bright lights. What to do then, to fill the gaps between fever induced snoozes?Β  I hate daytime TV, so I was drawn to Netflix and Amazon Prime for company. I must’ve been pretty out of it on Day 1 as (after at least 20 minutes of flicking through) I managed to pay Β£4.99 for a film which I now own but will never ever watch again. I only made it through the first viewing by sheer stubbornness as I had paid for it and was determined to get my money’s worth.

Choices got a little more careful after that – “free” being the first prerequisite for viewing. But I’ve also been doing a lot of soul searching of late, feeling at a strange transitional point in life where, I quite simply do not feel fulfilled in my work/career and am not sure which direction to turn. What’s the next step?. #midlifecrisis. I also have my first Ultra in 3 weeks and am quite frankly shitting my pants but trying to remain positive. So these were my good choices to lift my spirits from my poorly bed;

1. “Eat, Pray, Love” – I love Elizabeth Gilbert as an author and don’t think this is a bad representation of the book. I have seen some totally good books ruined by films. This one’s pretty good though. And, yes, who wouldn’t like to spend a year travelling to Italy and India and Bali and write about their experiences. If I didn’t have any financial obligations and my other half wanted to come too..

2. “Running for Good” – a documentary about Fiona Oakes, a remarkable story of a Vegan runner with no knee cap (this astounds me) who has broken world records. The film is about her journey on the Marathon des Sables but to be honest I was more awestruck by her selfless nature and loving, giving kindness than I was her achievements. Don’t get me wrong, the lady has done some amazing things, but she does it all to raise awareness so that she can fund the animal sanctuary that she runs. She cares more about the animals than she does herself. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you have purpose.

3. “Fyre” – the greatest party that never happened. The moral of the story – don’t believe all the hype you see on social media. This just confounds my opinion of how easy it is for people to bullshit the rest of the world via the means of social media. How easily we are “influenced” by crap. How do we decipher what is real and what is fake anymore?

I wanna go where the people go…

Wish that I could be like the cool kids….

Maybe not.

4. “Made to be Broken” – tale of Ultra Runner, Karl Meltzer’s attempt to break the world record on the Appalachian Trail. That’s 2,188 miles (3,523km) in less than 46 days, 8 hours and 6 mins. He smashed it!

…So my first Ultra attempt at 35 miles (in 3 weeks time) would be less than he would cover in a day…

You don’t get to see an awful lot of the AT in the film, and it’s difficult to feel a connection to the man. Perhaps as it’s so far ‘out there’ it’s difficult to understand. They did interview some people walking the trail though. A through hike takes an average of 5-7 months. Now that would be the adventure….

And finally,

5. “Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru”

Yes you bloody are Mr Robbins. Motivation and Inspiration personified. It’s a good documentary to watch, not least if you’re feeling a bit sickly sorry for yourself and disappointed that you are not fulfilling your soul purpose in life because you don’t know what it is, and frustrated that the Universe has not yet given you a clear sign. This woman stands up after he asks if anyone is suicidal (because statistically something like 12 out of 2500 in the room are!!). And she tells this tale of how she was raised within the “Children of God” which, in my humble opinion, is a sick cult that brainwashes people to believe thatΒ in order to spread the love of god, you need to express your devotion through sexual acts. From the age of six, she was required to have sex with other members of the cult. Six years old. And here I am moaning about the flu and feeling frustrated with life. Perspective.

It’s all about perspective. More on my life lessons from Tony in the next blog.