“My Time” is about to start. I’ve been planning it for a few years because I didn’t want it to creep up on me and catch me unawares.
My 20yo son moved out a few months ago and my 17yo daughter’s just finished high school. My marriage ended years ago, although we just managed to get to the court house the other day and file the divorce papers – well, it was overdue, to say the least. Our son came with us. His dad thought he might be a bit upset about it, but honestly the kids both think it’s hilarious that it’s taken us this long. Not to mention that my son’s a comedian so for sure there’s some material in it!
I’ve had a really good plan in place for my time, and everything I’ve wanted has manifested – yay for me!
At the end of 2012 I was visiting with a friend in Texas who was developing her online business, and I thought to myself: I need to do that! And straight away I decided a) I would make it happen and b) next year (it was October at the time) I’ll go overseas with Ruby (my daughter) and show her the world. And that’s exactly what we did in 2013.
We nearly ran out of money a few times. But wow! it was incredible and I know it changed Ruby’s view of the world and her place in it, all for the better of course. My mum died when I was 20 and there’s no memory I’d rather have than to have traveled the world with her, but that wasn’t to be. But to have taken Ruby has been one of my greatest gifts as a parent – a gift to both of us.
When we arrived back at the end of 2013 the plan was for Ruby to finish her last two years of high school and for me to really get my own thing happening online, and then we’d take off again – travelling was somehow in our blood at this point and we had both fallen in love with places we wanted to go back to.
<– Me and Rubes in Oman in 2013.
So here we are at the beginning of 2016, in our beautiful little New Zealand, and we’re literally packing up and selling off and giving away almost everything we own. It’s so liberating. We both leave the country in just a few short weeks, on 5th February, 25 minutes apart, Ruby to Brazil for a month, and me to San Francisco. We meet up in New York City on 6th February for a week of museums and art galleries – I’ve been to NYC many times but my artist-daughter has to see it all. Ruby’s then up to Connecticut to friends and I’m off to Scotland. Scotland’s become my turangawaewae. In Maori that means “the place where I stand” – somehow it’s my spiritual home – it calls to me – I’ve been twice previously – and so I’m off. We’ll see what unfolds when I get there, but I’ll also be traveling from there to Europe, India, and other parts. Ruby wants to travel Europe and then possibly down to south-east Asia with friends. She’s got art school on her mind in a year or two. I’ve got a PhD on my mind, probably sooner rather than later, not least since I’m 53 now and it’s been beckoning for a while. I wasn’t sure if that was a commitment I wanted to make at this time in my life but when I mentioned to a friend that I’d be hitting 60 by the time I finished, she said well you might as well hit 60 with a PhD as not – what could I say?!
I know for sure my son, Madison, will be off traveling too very soon, almost certainly to the likes of London, Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh, where his style of humour will fit right in. Almost everyone he meets thinks he actually is Irish – apparently he sounds Irish – we think it’s ‘cos he rolls his ‘R’s.
I’m excited for my kids, and I’m excited for me. I’ve been clear for a long time now that my own purpose is to help others with finding their purpose and making it happen – I love that work (and if I do ultimately commit to a PhD then that’s what it’ll be about), and I hope to keep doing it for many years yet.
I love that my kids are doing what they love too. It’s pulling on my heartstrings a little that my girl is leaving home, but then so am I! And I know we’ll share many more adventures together yet.
I can’t recommend enough that you plan for your time. I also can’t recommend enough that you travel – it can cost a lot less than you think, especially if you’re prepared to flow with the fear, and let go some of your comforts. Make the world your oyster!