The daffodils have exploded, and the sun is out. Yesterday, my friend and I watched two hares racing across a field, followed by three deer, happily lolloping about in the lush grass of springtime. It was special, an ‘ah ha’ moment, breathing in the stunning Suffolk surroundings in which I’ve chosen to root myself.
Just last week I was reminded of my journey, my long haul move from the land of plenty to Blighty, a land peppered with seasons. It was such a big transition,one that truly, once again, changed the direction of my life forever.
Another friend, ‘Verity’, a rather free thinking, vibe setting, rainbow of a girl… actually a woman these days, reconnected with me last year after reading one of these blogs! Verity and I have a history, and we have always played well together, dancing (in da club) and talking about everything and nothing until the wee small hours. We spent many an Arabian eve, liquored up, shooting the sh*t, philosophising and counting stars. Verity, once a Dubai Marketing Maven, left the sky highs for Sri Lanka some years ago to sip out of coconuts and set up a travel business with her other half, Garrath. The tropical life unfortunately came to a sudden halt when Covid hit, and Verity and her twin girls had to head back to land of the long white cloud, leaving Garrath behind, at least until his visa came through.
Life huh? Wowser! Imagine uprooting your whole life, travelling with twin girls under 3 and leaving your other half behind. Verity is what I’m going to call ‘a ribbon coach’, we shall get to why she is thus titled later, and she specialises in repatriation. Now, for those who haven’t lived overseas you can be instantly forgiven for not knowing that this is indeed even a ‘thing’. For those of us who have made the move, are thinking about the move or indeed are braving the move in these difficult times, then you’ll be right on our vibe. IT IS HARD!
A year ago, to the day, the UK was locked down. Covid had hit us hard, and we like the rest of the world had to stand still for a while. We didn’t know how long it would last, and it was something of a novelty to begin with. I began to blog every few weeks until I had a collection of musings, and I wondered what I could be doing with them. Friends from far away were reading them under the title of ‘Martinis to Muffins’. This was my story, my life of transition from Dubai to the UK. It was then a little Kiwi voice popped into my feed and Verity and I reconnected after many years.
Verity and I recorded a (drum roll...) PODCAST. and I never thought that I would ever make that announcement! There she is, over the other side of the world, where the water goes down the plughole the wrong way, and she's sitting in a closet. Yep, a closet. Why? Because she researched that the sound quality would be better if she recorded inside somewhere that is padded. I was sat at this very table, feet up, and chatting away via Zoom. This was take 1! We got carried away, after all, we are two old friends with massive imaginations and far too many things to say. Take 1 was cropped for ‘shorts’ and then, days later, we did takes 2, 3,4,5 and finally 6. Take 6 was the one.
I have discovered that Verity and I learn together, we support one another, and it really is a reminder that life is better with someone that understands you. Verity describes me as her champion, and although I’ve described her as that too, I actually think that she is a fairy; a mysterious sprite, a light as a feather, sparkling, golden yellow ball of energy, caught between the logical and the whimsical, overthinking everything in sight. Verity is a ribbon thrower and a ribbon catcher.
Rewind again, to summer 2020 and Verity and I are deep in conversation on what is my Friday night and her Saturday morning and we are planning my website. Yes, the one you’re on right now! There’s layers and layers of conversation heading in multiple directions. Verity likes to launch ribbons, and my role is to help her to tie them in a bow once they've been caught. That’s how we work, I am grounded, multi coloured, and I can tie a giant bow. Verity’s curiosity makes her an amazing coach, and her ability to explore those ribbons of life and evoke feelings helps people to make sense of their lives. This is how we work well together in wellness, and help others to become 'Wellbeings’!
Last week was a milestone. A podcast! A few months ago, I was invited to do a 'live' on Instagram, and last year I launched my website. So who or what does that make me now?
In three weeks I'll be returning to work and I'll be pouring my creativity back into the ‘new world of spa’. I am mourning lockdown already.
Essentially, I’ve had a year off, a sabbatical, and whilst this has been a turbulent year, it has been one HUGE learning experience. I have discovered that when I am left to my own devices and locked down with only cats for company, I get creative and I get brave. I have achieved things in the last year that I would have never imagined possible. Alongside this discovery I have also experienced some of the most upsetting and difficult situations I've ever known, things that I wouldn’t wish for anyone.
As I, like those daffodils, prepare to explode back into the world of work, I am also apprehensive, and, well, bitter. Apprehensive of working long hours with little work life balance, and bitter that I can no longer have lazy mornings, afternoon walks, and time for thinking and baking. Well perhaps I can, but only on a weekend!
I’ve dipped my toe into a life ‘more lived’, a life where I have time to tend my garden. I slowed down for the first time, and life was no longer whizzing past me but gently holding my hand. It was heaven.
I, like you, am trying to figure out how I can work less and earn more. Or at least work less and earn the same. I am trying to plan in a walk in the lunch hour that so far I have never had. I, am trying to take time away from the business to be better for the business.
I am being HONEST.
Be honest with yourselves, what do you want? What is your lockdown 'takeaway'? What have you achieved and what will you change going forward?
Its almost time for some pink tights…. I think I’m going to order a different colour now, because after all, I feel that I really am that bit different.