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Friday, 1 April 2016

Monthly Musing - April 2016 - Keep on walking!

Big daughter passed her driving test this week.   It’s a milestone in what’s going to be a year of milestones – A Levels, Peru, university – and she’s very pleased to have ticked this one off the list.

Six months ago, I couldn’t imagine being driven around in my car by my daughter, and yet that’s what we’ve been doing for the last month, getting ready for her test.  I expected that it would feel strange, awkward and uncomfortable, but in actual fact it felt fine.  I’ve put this down to the fact that I’ve had since her 17th birthday to get used to the idea that she is driving, and if her instructor was coming home without any more grey hairs or a panicked expression then it must all be going well.  Those driving baby steps have got me to the point where I’m comfortable being a passenger in my own car.

I think this is how we’re able to cope with most things that aren’t a sudden intrusion on our lives.  It’s a well worn expression these days, but by taking baby steps we can learn a new skill, live a new way of life and accept something that is unusual as a regular part of our everyday.  We often feel safer if things don’t happen too quickly, preferring to have time to absorb the changes more slowly until we realise that we’ve actually taken a huge step from our starting point – and that feels good.  I never thought I would be ready for big daughter to drive, or go to Peru, or university, but now that the day it all happens is getting closer and because we’ve had time to prepare for it, I’m less distraught about the whole idea than I expected to be.

It makes you realise that we can do anything if we take it just one step at a time.  I heard someone say recently that nobody would be ready to climb Everest tomorrow but everybody could train to climb Everest tomorrow, and it struck me that his words were very true.  The longest journey starts with a single step and we are all many miles into our journeys now.  Sometimes we take detours, sometimes we run and sometimes we feel that we are stuck in the mud, but for the most part we keep going forward and the act of metaphorically putting one foot in front of the other is what helps us to achieve pretty much anything that we put our mind to. 

I know that the thought of leaving us for a month to travel is quite daunting for big daughter, but I also know that every time we put something in her rucksack or walk another mile in training, she’s taking those steps to making it all feel more natural.  By the time she leaves, it will feel like she had never planned to do anything else.  In the meantime though, I might need to hide my car keys!


12 comments:

  1. Well done to your daughter!

    I'm sure she will LOVE Peru, my brother's Girlfriend went to South America last year after finishing University and the photos are AMAZING, she went for 3 months and has said it was the best experience of her life, travelling really seems to be the most amazing experience, its the only thing I feel I missed my chance with by starting work at 17 a break of that long from work would be near impossible!

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    1. It's very hard once you start working to think about giving it up, isn't it? I chose not to go to university at 18 and got a job instead, so when I finally did want to study I was lucky that the Open University was there for me to study around my job. Sadly, there isn't anything similar for travelling! xx

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    2. I was lucky enough to be sponsored through university so I still had the long holidays but I had to work for 8 weeks of them so never quite enough of a break to travel. I am working on visiting places for a shorter period of time instead!

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    3. That's not a bad idea at all! :-) xx

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  2. Your musings reminded me of my daughter going off to Vietnam and Cambodia on her travels and filling the ruc sac......she could hardly stand with it initially! It's quite a well travelled bag now with a badge sewn on for all the countries she has visited! I wish your daughter well!

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    1. Thank you! I think the opportunity to travel is so much easier to take advantage of these days, for those who have the inclination it's a wonderful thing to have the chance to do! xx

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  3. Well done to your daughter! It sounds like your daughter has some amazing plans ahead. I spent five weeks in Ecuador about 18 years ago, it was amazing, I am sure Peru will be too.

    II is true that small steps are better, they make things more achievable and easier to cope with if they are something hard.

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    1. Five weeks in Ecuador sounds like an exciting adventure! I'm sure that doing something like this in your late teens/twenties sets you up with a different perspective on life - I wish I'd been able to that at big daughter's age! xx

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  4. What a lovely, reflective post. I need to remind myself that baby steps are all that's necessary. I can get too bogged down in the fear of the big looming strides. And congratulations to your daughter on passing her test. I was 34 when I finally passed mine. I wish I'd done it sooner. Those baby steps again ;)
    Leanne xx

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    1. Thank you! But you've already coped with the university and at a year in, I'd say you're an old hand now - I may well be needing advice nearer the time! xx

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  5. Both my older children are travelling to Island this summer for two weeks. It is baby steps for all of us, for them a first holiday without family, for me staying at home without them. They are going with scouts so will be having a great time and will be looked after by at least two adults. I find it easier to break down big tasks into small tasks, makes it much less daunting. I am absolutely terrified of my children driving me around though! x

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    1. If they're going with the Scouts they'll have a fab time and will certainly be well looked after! I did wonder how I was going to cope with the driving as her driving instructor had brakes but I didn't - it was all OK though and we are both still here to tell the tale! :-) xx

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