On doing what you love. And why it’s not always finding time that’s the challenge.
You might have noticed that I haven’t been around for a while. I haven’t posted for almost a whole year now and in that time I’ve learnt a great deal about myself.
We often read that if we truly love something, we’ll find the time to do it. But I’m now not sure that’s always the case. Sometimes, we take so much pleasure in something that we don’t want to associate it with tough times, mental or physical pain or anything else that might muddy the waters of our passion.
Writing about, reading about and experiencing travel is exactly that for me. I put it on a pedestal. I deem it my life’s great passion. I connect it in my mind with happiness and relaxation.
And so, when 2019 came around with its sombre blend of mental anguish, physical injury and the need to simply keep ploughing through everyday life as a bare minimum, my blogging came to a halt.
First it was the lack of inspiration.
Tiredness and misery really does scupper imagination. While I’m still not quite ready go into the morbid details of what caused my mood, I will say this: the ability to consider other worlds, diverse cultures and recent travel memories while I was in this state was near impossible. I could just about focus on the absolute present to get my day job done, let alone transport myself to distant lands.
Then came the wrist.
In May I was diagnosed with a repetitive strain injury. A symptom of long office hours and too much typing – I had lost the balance. Despite a steroid injection, the constant ache in my hand combined with my sombre mood restricted my ability to engage with what I loved. I still travelled; visiting Sicily and Egypt on holidays that provided well needed rest and refuge but they sparked nothing in me that spurred me to write.
And so eventually, I distanced myself from the blog altogether. Why affiliate my love of travel with this host of other events that made me feel so awful? I never want my blog, my passion, to become a chore or a bore. Nor do I ever want to feel forced to keep ‘putting out’ at times when I might want to embrace feeling fragile and withdrawn.
I took a very long break.
Now I feel ready to return. I’m back in both the physical and mental space that allows me to feel enthused as I type, as I read about where others are exploring and as I plan for the next adventure.
If 2019 taught me anything, it’s that doing what we love sometimes has very little to do with finding the time. And much more to do with simply being in the right frame of mind.
Happy New Year to you all! Onwards and upwards into 2020…