(or as I had originally mistakenly titled this post … Fear and Donuts)
Starting out on this new chapter of my life is both exciting and terrifying, in pretty equal proportions. I think one of my biggest fears is finding out that, actually, I’m not that adventurous after all and am more suited to the 9-5, TV dinners and an early night. Excitement coming 4 weeks of the year on far flung vacations with normal weeks made a little more bearable by trips to the pub. When not travelling on my 4 weeks of vacation I’m talking about the previous trip and probably boring my friends to tears.
Sadly, that’s how I feel my life is now.
As I look over some of the items on my bucket list I worry; not only that I won’t be able to complete them from a technical point of view (climbing, swimming and musical endeavours for example) but also that fear will stop me from doing a lot of them.
Chased by a pack of wild dogs
When I’m out running, especially along more rural roads and tracks, I’m always concerned that I’m going to be savaged by a dog of some description. I’m not quite sure where a fear of dogs came from, but it’s very real. I can always tell when there has been the potential of a dog-run-in when I look at my GPS record, post run. The bit in the middle that goes all squiggly with a much faster pace is most certainly my avoid the angry dog at all costs split. I’ve seen myself taking off across open fields in the opposite direction to my original plan at even the slightest inkling that the far away dog barking is loose and baying for Irish blood. (I always have a dog escape plan in mind .. aka climb the nearest tree. Dogs can’t climb right, given they can’t look up?*).
A number of the items on my Bucket list involve adventure of the outdoors kind, and quite often by myself. One of things that has stopped me from getting started with outdoor wild camping is that fear of dogs – although I’m more likely to get savaged by an axe wielding psychopath (which again is unlikely). But you see this fear is actually deeper than something as simple as a fear of dogs.
Eat Sleep Work … Repeat
At the gym this morning one of my favourite exercise songs came on (although at the time it wasn’t really my favourite as it marked the mid-point of a 10 minute hard climb on the spin bike). Life for many (myself included) is a lot like that song, just much more boring. Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat. It’s certainly one of the first cycles that I want to break. I don’t want routine. I don’t want to live the same day on repeat. I certainly don’t want to look back over a day, a week or even a month and realise that 95% of that time was spent doing the same things, over and over again. Just because the TV is the corner why do we need feel the need to switch it on as soon as we enter the room? Routine won’t be the death of me.
How much money will I need?
Another major fear that kicks in, especially now that I’m on the countdown from Schlumberger, is the fear of money (or rather the lack of money). I look at a number of the items on my bucket list and realise that a lot will take some form of investment to make them happen. It’s been the same over the past few years. As I’ve been met with challenges I’ve faced a lot of them with my credit card. I need a break from the craziness of 9-5? Book a trip to the other side of the world. I wish I could take epic photographs of animals and landscapes. Drop several hundred pounds on a new bit of kit. Run the length of Britain? Go out and buy the latest and greatest running equipment.
I hope that once I start to attack my goals, and have no option to fix things with my flexible friend, I’ll be able to show myself that not only is lots of money not needed, but also by putting in that extra effort to make things happen myself it has been much more rewarding.
The fear right now, as I start on this journey, feels debilitating. It’s time to step out of my comfort zone. Put my face directly into the wind and go forward. And of course with a bit of spare time on my hands I also hope to work more on my Dog Escape Plan.
*I’ve since heard that Dogs can look up .. it’s only a matter of time until they figure out climbing ..