I sit here, rain bouncing of the roof of the tent, gazing out past the other campers dotted across the site, my eye then wandering lazily over the meandering stone walls enclosing fields filled with hungry sheep chomping at the wet grass. My gaze finally rests on the ridge that sits above the sleepy hamlet of Blackwell (in the Peaks). Well from what I can see of the ridge as the low hanging cloud is shrouding her upper crags, only revealing herself fully when the wind blows in the right direction. Some of my fellow campers are starting to stir, darting across the sodden grass in brightly coloured pyjama bottoms paired with Wellington boots and rain jackets. I even see one brave soul making an early morning brew – underneath a polka dot umbrella of course.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon (it’s now early Monday morning) and I’ve yet to take a single picture (heck I’ve not even taken either camera (Fuji and Holga with me) out of the bag. I can’t blame the weather for that as Saturday was actually quite a pleasant day, having started with high winds and yes, you’ve guessed it, more of that British staple – rain. Some of it horizontal.
I think I can blame something far worse than the weather – I blame myself !
Don’t get me wrong, since leaving my job on 1st June I’ve been reasonably busy (a few sports jobs, a few personal jobs) some running and a bit of cycling. I’ve also been over to Ireland for a week to visit my family, headed down to Devon for a weekend camping and now of course find myself here in the Peak District (again camping). It’s been 40 days since I left and some may say I’ve managed to fill my time rather well.
I do however continue to battle my own internal demons (which there are a few) one of which can, at times, be the most crippling in terms of getting things done.
I’ve got too many ideas and seriously do not know where to start
Man that has hit me hard over the past few weeks. I have so many ideas floating around in my head that I sometimes find myself siting at home , almost paralysed by fear, at where to start. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very good at making lists. Heck, if the mood takes me I can color code the lines and pages with the best of them. Some lists even make it onto actual paper and stored in a folder.
Endless list making is simply an excuse for not starting.
As I sat looking out at the peak in front of me I was again going over a list of things I wanted to do while up here; walking, photography, exploring, and the fear of not enough time / too much to do returned. I then realised that at least one thing was quite literally staring me in the face. The peak overlooking the campsite.
And so a quick change of clothes (although I was very tempted to run in my own brightly coloured pjs) and I was out in the elements, huffing and puffing my way up. Puddle avoiding became an impromptu game (which I wasn’t very good at). I imagined myself miles from home on a proper adventure, even though the campsite would remain no more than 3 miles from my position. It felt good. No it felt bloomin great. Not just the act of running, the elements on my face, the fresh air through my nostrils. It felt great as I had decided to start. I could have said, perhaps tomorrow. But here I was, scaring the bejeebies out of those poor hungry sheep who only 15 minutes previously I had watched graze peacefully on the hillside. Now I was amongst them, making my way to the top.
And as I sat at the top, drizzly rain leaving my face feeling naturally refreshed, I realised that no amount of list writing would have gotten me up here. No. The only thing to get me up here was to decide to start. Pick one thing and do it. As I returned to camp and assumed the under umbrella brew making stance I realised I had taught myself a very important lesson.
It’s better to start one thing and focus on it than plan 10 things that cloud your decision
Starting can sometimes be the hardest part. But now that I’m back down I’ve realised that, actually, the start only lasted a few seconds of what turned out to be a 45 minute romp. And completing that, all before others had even risen from their slumber, has left me with a small feeling of accomplishment which I’m sure I’ll carry throughout the day.
My advice, if you too find yourself crippled with the fear of too much to do and not enough time? Pick one thing today that’s been on your mind and start it. Give it the focus it deserves. Start it today. Don’t wait until tomorrow. And hopefully you too, both during and after, will get a sense of a achievement, which will help you push onto bigger and better things.
Right time for that brew !!