Sunday, 7 October 2018

It couldn't be done...

I learned something important this week - just how easy it is to look at other people and think that they're doing just fine and that it's only you who has dark moments of feeling overwhelmed by everything.  To be fair, I did know this already, but this week was an excellent reminder! 

As you'll know if you follow us on social media, this week we had THE book launch party for Gin, Cakes and Rucksacks, and I have to say it was far easier, and a lot less stressful to organise our wedding than it was to organise this! Firstly, there were no press releases for our wedding, secondly people were a LOT better behaved about RSVPs for our wedding and, thirdly, call us mean, but there were no goody bags at our wedding.

With co-author Karen
When it comes to the RSVPs I was a bit surprised by the number of folks who just never bothered getting back to me one way or another - I didn't send out blanket invites, each one was specially addressed and personalised - a simple "no" would have been a huge help with the catering!  There were also a number of folks who despite saying "yes" said "no" within the final 24 hours or simply didn't show up - a few of them had excellent reasons which I completely understand, but others were less convincing...  Again, I'm not being precious here, but we were paying for catering on a tight budget so numbers were very important.

Anyway, despite our party poopers the event was a HUGE success with everyone there having a fab time - so much so that they're planning to organise another get together in the spring!

As I looked around at the fantastic bunch of people in the room I got to wondering what made these folks different?  Why did they come along and not let me down at the last minute?  Why were they all so lovely, friendly and supportive, chatting to each other and forging new friendships?  Then it came to me, pretty much everyone in that room had taken the huge risk of self employment - small gin producers, communications specialists, chefs, restaurateurs, cake makers, holiday home empire builders - they all absolutely knew how scary this life is and how much the support of your friends truly matters.

I was so moved that I dug out a favourite poem of mine to read at the end of my short speech as I thought it would strike a chord with everyone - and I was right, it did.  It got a huge roar of a cheer when I finished and several people asked me for it afterwards.
With our local MP Tim Farron

It's not my poem but it is absolutely perfect for anyone thinking of "going for it" in any field - motivational posters and short quotes make it sound so easy but there are many, many, long dark moments when you find yourself sobbing over a laptop or into a bottle of wine, convinced that you can't do this.  I was gob smacked at how many people came up to me after I read the poem out to share their dark moment stories and it was truly comforting to know I wasn't alone.

So, here's the poem - by American poet Edgar Alan Guest - and I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.

It Couldn't Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

With eternal thanks to everyone who came along and supported us!

Gin, Cakes and Rucksacks is available NOW!  You can buy it directly from us by clicking HERE and I'll even sign if for you if you want!  OR, you can buy it directly from the publisher here.  It's also on the database for folks like Waterstones, Hatchards, Daunt Books, WH Smith etc. so if it's not on the shelves of your local one do pester them and ask for it.  If you have a small independent bookshop then ask them too - it should be available via their local wholesaler.  Thank you!  😀

PS If you want a peek behind the scenes, check out my blog for Julia Bradbury's The Outdoor Guide website HERE.