What I have learned from my experience so far
I have only been away from home for a few weeks and already I have learned a lot about the local area and actually learned stuff about myself. There is a lot to do in North Wales, all pretty interesting stuff, but I believe there is a lot to do everywhere, we just don’t see it while we go about our daily lives, because we are too caught up in working lots of hours to pay bills for the house we need to live in, in order to work lots of hours. When did life become such a treadmill? I really don’t believe the creator (whoever that may be) meant for us to take the work, work, work till you die path.
I have had a lot of luck and some bad luck in my life but the way you learn from the bad stuff is what makes your life better, if you dwell on all the bad stuff then it will continue to dominate your life but if you put it behind you and move on into a different way of being then life can be so enriching.
I have learned that I actually love writing and recently I got a message from someone who read my blog and said “I’m loving your blogs! You write really well! It’s as if I’m there with you!!!! You’re so inspiring xxx” I was so chuffed to get this message, now don’t get me wrong I realise this is just one person, but it doesn’t matter one is better than none! If my English teacher from Grammar school heard this about me she would laugh her socks off and so would I have many years ago, I thought I hated English but it turns out I love it after all.
I am going to read more and try and do course on writing to try and keep improving my style of writing and my technique, I’m hoping to write a book soon but there are so many ideas I have that I’m not sure which to choose first.
I also learned that there are many things in life that are just a trade-off, I am staying in an area where Wi-Fi is pretty non-existent and just when you think you have found some Wi-Fi in McDonalds, it is so slow that it takes over half an hour just to upload one picture, this can be very frustrating when I am trying to make a living out of my writing. I have a long, long way to go yet before that becomes a possible reality. There is so much work to do on my blog alone and as there is no Wi-Fi in the place I am staying, I am restricted as to how much time I can actually spend online.
When I do go to McDonalds there are parking restrictions, the longest I have found is in Mold, which is 2 hours, so I set my alarm on my phone to go off just before the two hours is up otherwise I get so carried away working on the blog or researching online that I might forget and then I will end up with a big fine. The problems don’t end there, once you have found a McDonalds you have to find the one plug point inside so you can work without your battery going flat, it is the school holidays now so that plug point is hogged by gangs of kids charging their phones. All in all I have realised that having good Wi-Fi in my old home was a bloody luxury and I just wish I could have brought it with me.
Anyway the trade-off is the water power is shit hot, power shower every day, no trickling up here in North Wales but great strong water power, whoop whoop!!
Another major thing I have learned which I probably already knew is that I miss my kids and grand-kids a lot, much more than I realised I would, but my intention is to make something of my writing so that once I am making a decent living from it I can go home and stay for longer periods contributing more to their lives, at the moment because I have nothing to give, I feel I can’t contribute, even though they want nothing from me financially, I feel like I want to give but can’t. I do feel like that is the only sacrifice I have made but I think it will be worth it in the end and if it is not then I will have to go back and find a job anywhere and rent a room off someone, it won’t be the end of the world.
I have learned that I still have too much stuff, I brought way too many clothes with me, they can be washed and worn again obviously but I think I have brought enough for a new outfit every day for a month (maybe not that much but not far off). I need to get more minimal especially when I go to Thailand; I am hoping to have my big pack on my back and small pack on my front whereas for this trip I have brought a car full of stuff. I did need more stuff here as I am preparing my own food and doing a kind of detox so I’m using my nutri bullet, rice steamer, juicer etc., and I had a cupboard full of food left from my move which has come in really handy, I made bean curry a couple of days ago which lasted me for two evening meals. I am only buying fresh fruit, veg and salad stuff.
I really need to make sure that the next place I go has Wi-Fi as it will be an integral part of my life now that I am building my blog, it is essential and from now on I will only pick places that can guarantee this. I can live without hot running water and power showers but I can’t live without Wi-Fi and apart from anything else it keeps me in touch with family and friends, I had to go the bus stop up the road today to Facetime my daughter on her birthday.
I don’t mind my own company but would prefer to be with other people sometimes. I think a good balance is what is needed, I definitely need time to myself to do all my writing but I need to be with people too and there are so many lovely people that I have met so far and I have only been here a few weeks.
I do not like the fact that I can’t give much, I am a generous person but at the moment I have nothing to give. Yesterday I visited a fellow CSAS marshal and his wife and they made me a wonderful 2 course lunch and Alison the lady of the house gave me fresh Welsh cakes to bring back with me and I felt like I should have contributed more but couldn’t financially and I can’t return the favour because circumstances won’t allow, I did buy flowers for Alison and gave them to her when I arrived but I probably should have bought wine also, although I wasn’t sure they would want wine at lunch in the middle of the week even though I would, it turned out they did, it was such a lovely lunch, all home cooked.
I can always give my time and my abilities and since starting working for my hosts, I feel like I am contributing even though it’s only in a small way it is a contribution nonetheless. The work I do is easy but helps them to run their business, they are both very busy people who work non-stop every day of the week because they run the business between the two of them and there is such a lot of work involved when you are self-employed, I know this from my own experience.
I have learned how wonderful people are and how special each and every individual is, I have met friends who have taken me out with them to fab places, people who have done special things with their lives and with all these people I have coincidental connections. The whole trip has made me think a lot about connection and the fact we are all connected has never seemed truer. I am trying to make sure I take photos of everyone I speak at length with and at least take their names so I can include them in my blog if they are willing. Life just gets more and more fascinating.
I am a big believer in the good that is in us all and this trip has proved to me already how much good there is out there, from breaking down and hitching a ride twice which I have told the whole story of in a separate blog post, to the man who towed me all the way back to the place I am staying even though it was late and it was just over the mileage I was allowed. It makes me feel warm inside to see the loveliness of people.
Another main lesson I have learned is it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of time to get my blog to the position I want it to be and I mean a lot of work, I have just been watching the video course I have on how to build an audience and it is extensive!! OMG!! I have such a long way to go, but as Lao Tzu said in the Dao De Jing “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step”. Onwards and upwards.
This trip so far has tested me mentally, physically and emotionally and I have cried many times but equally I have smiled many times, the situations, the environment and my own recovery programme has sometimes pushed me to the edge but when you are on your own you just have to think logically about how you can resolve any situation you find yourself in. Life is good and I need to sometimes remind myself how lucky I am and how lucky and wonderful my life has already been. I have already had a perfect life raising my wonderful children; anything from now on is a huge bonus.