Monday, 27 August 2012

My Life in Quotes (and the start of Part 2)

I'm the one with the 1980's bouffant hair. Jim's the cool
one in the sunglasses.  The photo was taken in a basement.
Jim, a good friend of mine, has a dislike of inspirational quotes which has inspired me to write this blog.  When I say good friend I mean one of those people you were great mates with at Uni, swore you'd never lose contact with, lost contact with, regained contact with and then lost it again before Facebook meant there was no longer any excuse (or escape) from remaining in contact.  Either way we've sort of known each other for around 25 years now, and that makes me feel very old indeed.  And anyway, he doesn't dislike them all, just most of them.  The only one you'll catch him quoting is Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."  Not bad, but I need more choice.

"Don't Worry, Be Happy" (Bob Marley)

So help me if I hear one more person complain about the weather.  I've never really been one to whinge and complain about things I can't change. I try to stick to a simple philosophy; if I can't do anything about it then  worrying about it is pointless and if I can do something about it then it's time I got off my backside.  That's how we ended up up here living this amazing, if everso slightly crazy, life.  I think Mr Marley oversimplified it somewhat with the implication that if you're worrying then you can't be happy.  Or maybe I'm over thinking things.  My love of words makes me do that sometimes.  Either way you can still have worries and be happy.  And I'm betting you're going to have that tune stuck in your head all day now.  Sorry.

"Whether your believe you can or you can't, you'll probably be right."  Henry Ford

Wintery caravan site from the top
of Arnside Knott
In the past week I've had 3 different (and entirely unrelated people) say they wish they were me, or had my life.  Well, we didn't get here by wishing for it.  We convinced ourselves we could do it and we did it.  Last night me & Steve were recalling some of the conversations we had with people before we headed up here in Delores and many of them went like this:

"So, you're moving north.  Do you have a house up there then?"
"No."
"Oh.  Have you sold your house down here?"
"No."
"Oh.  So what will you be living in?"
"Delores"
"Delores?"
"Yes"
"You do know it's January don't you?"
"Yes"
"How long do you plan on living in her?"
"Well we get kicked off the campsite in 3 months."
"So you'll have a house sorted by then?"
"Hope so."

Looking back it's no wonder they thought we were slightly mad, but we believed we could do it, so we did it. (Note for R Kelly fans: Not all quotes about beliefs should be taken literally.)

"Life is a Journey, Not a destination." Ralph Waldo Emerson

There's always time for daisies.
Some quotes are so overused they're in danger of becoming cheesy, and this is one of them.  But it's a great quote.  It's important to chase dreams so long as you're also happy with the here and now and not one of the "I'll be happy when..." brigade.  We've come a long way and it's not all been fun but we've tried to see the bright side of everything and I like to think we've succeeded. Mostly.

It's also a useful quote to remember next time you're racing from A to B.  I was working in Burnley again this week and mentioned to someone that I preferred to take the pretty way home and stop off for a picnic along the way.  They were amazed that I didn't just steam back along the motorway.  The whole world is in such a hurry.  Take the pretty route sometimes - it gives you more time to think.  Although Steve might argue that's a dangerous thing in my case.

"Feel the fear & do it anyway." Susan Jeffers

My favourite campsite from our
Great North Adventure
I'll be honest, I've never read her book, but the title is enough for me.  In my professional life I run assertiveness workshops and often hear people say that confident people don't feel nervous.  WRONG.  Remember End of Part One?  Well part two has just begun and I'm more than a little nervous.

On 16th November I will be leaving my perfectly good job to become completely self employed.  Our plan goes something like this:  I'll work a few days a month as a freelance Learning & Development Consultant (website here) and I'll also try and make some extra cash from writing.  When I'm not doing either of those things me & Steve will be working on some business ideas we have related to photography and the outdoors, giving us a legitimate business need to head off in Delores at every available opportunity and have more adventures.  Will it work?  Who knows but as Wayne Gretzky said "Statistically speaking, 100% of the shots you don't take, won't go in." So we have to at least try.

Most people write about what they've done after they've done it but I think it's more fun to write about it was we go along.  That way I'm less inclined to edit out the lows and give a false impression of how fabulous life is.  I'm sure it won't all be plain sailing, but we'll work something out and get there in the end and if we don't well, we'll end up somewhere else won't we?  Either way we plan on having fun.  I like to live my life as Bill & Ted suggested: "Be most excellent to each other, and party on."  And you can quote me on that.