Well and truly back into the desert routine and that trip back home seems long behind me. Very quickly after landing back in the land of sand, it’s strange how fast I can now flip that expat switch and fall back into the everyday, which only shows how “normal” this all now feels. As well as hitting the floor running upon my return, of course comes the new year reflections, plans to be made, intentions drawn up, and like any obsessive planner I am, try to get some clarity on the immediate months ahead. At first I thought perhaps my necessity for plans at the start of year, is just a distraction, something to focus on allowing myself not to get sucked into the January blues. It turns out, I am not the only one and that my fellow desert girls all seems to be grabbing 2018 by the horns. Whilst 2017 was a fantastic year for me in terms of travel and experiences, I did feel that I had a moment of disconnection towards the end and had fallen into the habit of focussing on other people’s needs rather than my own. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t unhappy but I didn’t have a real directive for myself, outside of my destination goals, which definitely made me feel a little off. So I want to make this year a bit more balanced.
Almost immediately into the usual desert exploits, our first book club back reconvened. As we sat around, catching up on each other’s Christmas breaks it’s was nice to back in the desert girl fold, which made me so content. As the night progressed and the brief book talk was concluded, conversation turned to new year changes. Some had decided to leave their jobs, taking the opportunity to study and others had taken on new ones after qualifying in alternative fields during 2017. I loved that this was a group of strong women, who just because they gave up a lot to move to the desert, focussing on their family, had decided to fulfil life time ambitions whilst in this unconventional life.
Whilst I was engrossed by their plans, I suddenly realised that I was the only one without a “big” achievement for the year.
Then in my moment of self-deprecation, to mask my insecurities, I joked that I would try to achieve a few more bucket list trips but didn’t really have a specific thing to achieve. They all said I had my blog, but I started this in 2016 and I feel like it’s a part of me now. Yes iI still have to challenge myself to find new things to write about and I am still focussed on it, but feel like it was established and no longer a new challenge. I left feeling grateful for these girls and such a fun night but the next day my head was still pondering over the night before.
Did it really matter that I didn’t have a specific thing to achieve? I had set out my basic goals for the year, as in read 52 books, maintain fitness, bake more but was that enough? I felt like it was, before the book club, and now I was questioning everything. This wasn’t like me, I am normally self accepting and not easily influenced by others, knowing my own mind but it definitely planted a seed of doubt.
Was I striking an own goal, not truly making the most of my desert opportunity?
That night I was anchored a bit more, as Hubby and I made some travel plans and booked the first trip of the year. After much deliberation and hours of online searching we settled on Sri Lanka, another place on the hit list and close enough for us to take advantage of our Gulf location. I was thrilled that we had a something down to look forward to and it erased any thoughts I had of self doubt…….for then at least.
Later that week, I had woken early, took to the yoga mat to clear my mind and headed for a coffee and a chat at the beach club. I love this place and the social it provides and after a great catch up with a friend, I strolled back home, only to bump into another desert gal. She was so enthused to see me and thanked me for the coffee a few days previous, expressing how much fun she has chatting and setting the world to rights.
As I turned the corner, onto my street, I realised that I had a huge smile on my face.
The sun was shining. I was in familiar surroundings. It was home. At that moment I stopped (probably looking like a complete loon to anyone else) and paused in my stride, as I realised that I was the happiest, most contented I have ever been in my life. That this life makes me happy. I have great friends, a great marriage and loads of adventures at my finger tips. I didn’t NEED a major goal or achievement, I just needed to hang on to this feeling, because that in itself is the most important thing and the greatest opportunity that will come my way.