“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do”. Bob Dylan
I’d always felt lucky in this regard. I had a job I loved…. And given much of what we do between getting up in the morning and going to bed at night is work then I suppose, in accordance with the quote above, I was successful….. but, is it all that simple?
As long as we all follow the conventional norms and accept a 35-50 hour working week then I was doing ok. I had friends who had actively decided not to follow this norm… accepting less income for a more frugal way of life. As a self-confessed Imelda, a holiday lover and someone who wanted to be able to afford what she wanted I had instead found myself on the treadmill. I had a mortgage to feed, direct debits to cover and the usual spending habits in accordance with my income. I was officially part of the rat race.
However, in finishing work at the end of 2011, for the first time in over 15 years, I found myself in a very different situation. I was no longer spending 35-50 hours per week at “the desk”. I had instead a different goal in mind. In 2012 I was setting out to cycle the world. It seems easy to say it now but believe me, this was not an easy place to get to. Sometimes circumstances that felt tough at the time can help us discover what we really, yes, really, want to do.
It seems that one of the biggest challenges in “living the dream” is being honest with yourself and having the guts to step off the treadmill and just do it.
So, what does that mean in terms of waking up and what that actually transpires to in terms of daily activity? Right now, it means training, planning, selling a house, reading about the adventures of others and looking for work in the interim until the adventure begins. It means I have reflected to bring balance into my life again – the great work/life balance we all talk about but do nothing to address…. until now.
It means I have fire in my belly once again and in accordance with the opening quote… it means success!!