Friday, 20 April 2012

Keep holding on

I came across a fantastic blog today that I will be spending some time reading when I get chance.  But this particular post is lovely and made me think of our own journey to get to where we are at the moment.

At the end of 2011 we'd had plans, not the same as the plans we have now, although if I'm honest I still wanted to do this but hadn't quite worked out how.  Back then we had planned a really big holiday, 3 weeks in the USA to be exact.  I did my normal and spent ages researching and planning and we made a good dent in to saving the money we needed to go.  We got past Christmas and were anxious to book to holiday knowing there would be no going back and then two things happened.  First was that my father in law, who was planning to go with us, decided he'd rather do the trip with J's cousin than us and it would be organised by a travel agent which I didn't want to do.  Then our car broke.  We felt like something was telling us not to go and so we made the decision to cancel our big planned holiday and if I'm honest it was an easy decision and none of us were too bothered by it which was quite surprising!  The car breaking made me realise we were stretching ourselves just a little bit too thin and I could see we'd be in huge amounts of debt when we came back. 

So the big plan changed but it had a huge effect on me.  I felt like a failure.  It brought back memories of all the times I've had big plans and changed them when things didn't feel right.  There were always good reasons - we seemed settled in jobs, money was too tight, we were too scared.  It didn't stop me then feeling like a downright failure though and it was how I felt again at the beginning of the year.

It didn't take us long to decide that we needed to start planning and executing the plan as you now know it, I do always like a plan, but I was still reeling and life was being very unkind.  We had ideas on how to save up enough to do a very basic trip but then more and more we were knocked back.  The new car we had decided to buy broke twice and cost us lots of money.  It was drinking petrol in a way that was costing us way more than we ever imagined just to get J to work never mind let us do any other kind of life living things and when we decided to take the plunge and trade the new car in for a newer model of our old reliable car we lost even more as its mileage wasn't what it should have been.  I cried lots then.  James was also struggling and feeling down every day.  How could we try and do our dream when at the very beginning we just had such huge obstacles?  Finances were key at this point and they were going backwards instead of getting better.  I hadn't told anyone about the idea at this point, and I was glad.  Were we going to give up again? 

James was fantastic and kept reminding me that it wasn't going to be easy and handed on a plate.  I knew this of course, but reassurance is always good.  I used to also go out for walks and just try and get all our finances and thoughts straight in my head.  I started writing my own little diary in a word document, my thoughts were still too precious and unformed to make public.  I also started to look for positive quotes about perseverance and stuck them at the end of each diary post.  This one is my favourite:

Before the rainbow you will have to endure a little rain

I love rainbows so this struck such a chord with me.  We made playlists of feel good music and songs that reminded us of travelling and we listened to them every night.  Then one day I wrote less and less in my private diary and started telling people about the 'adventure'.

All of a sudden things started getting there.  The savings started building to a number that seemed significant.  J's work started to get better and so he was happier.  I had a plan that looked like it would work and I was much much more confident and happy.

I've still no idea if we'll make it to the end of this journey and do the adventure as planned.  Maybe something else will come up, I've no idea really.  But I really do feel like we can do it.  I just need to keep my courage up and not listen to the monsters in my head.

I made a playlist with songs to pick me up when I feel down, but actually didn't manage to find too many songs to put in it.  Up to now, I've never actually needed to listen to it since i made it although I'm sure there will be more downs to come.  One of the songs I love is this one:

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