At 35 I don't kid myself that there isn't still time to grow and change, but I do feel that I know myself pretty well. There have been no thunderclap moments where I see life in a whole new light, no revelations encouraging me to take a whole new path in life. And that's fine. Instead there have been lots of small things, that have made me think a little differently and reflect on what's really important to me.
The number one thing I've had to do is become more tolerant. Just let things go. This is hard for me, but I've surprised myself, and Andy, over recent months with how much I now let just wash over my head. In fact, he gets more stressed out than me sometimes. Unheard of before! Plans get disrupted, people let you down, the unexpected comes up again and again out here. But we keep going and things tend to work out. Costly problems with our flights meant we got an extra week in New Zealand, which turned out to be one of our favourite places. Indian visa issues (don't get me started!) have lead to extra time here in Sri Lanka, which is no bad thing.
I've come to believe that if you just let it go, things will turn out how they're meant to, and I see karma in action all the time while travelling. I really hope I can continue to feel this way once I get back to life at home.
Another thing that really strikes me is how I want to live much more sustainably. Eating locally, making my own food, cleaning and beauty products, shopping in my neighbourhood. If we all just looked after and nurtured our little patches of the planet and supported our own communities, things would be a lot simpler. These are ideas I've dabbled with in the past, but I've always ended up shopping at the big supermarket because it's easier and just bought the cheap nasty cleaning products because we were on a budget... But it made me feel bad. No more. It's all about feeling good about my choices from now on, even if it means going without some little consumer luxuries.
Travelling and being away from the pressures of daily life has given me the perspective I needed. I love my life in the UK and can't wait to get back to it and make the tweaks that will make me a happier and more fulfilled person. Not everyone is able to step away for such a long period, but we can all take stock and think about what will really make our lives better. It could be that new dress or it could be something that's going to nourish your soul, like taking the time to grow your own herbs or make kombucha... Something I can't wait to try.
Whatever makes you happy.