The first three lines are always the hardest.
When I was at school, college and uni I used to sit and stare at an empty sheet of paper or blank screen and type/delete/retype the opening sentence of an essay or article over and over again.
I’d spend ages, reading, researching and scribbling reams and reams of notes in different coloured pens in an attempt to organise the thoughts that spilled freely from my mind. And it was only once I’d got past the magic three lines that I was able to find my flow and keep writing.
For me, writing is something I just have to do to stay sane.
I need to sit and get it all down. I remember writing stories from a very young age. Sometimes I’d scrawl pages and pages until my hands hurt, only stopping when I physically couldn’t write any more.
It was engrained into me.
Just like exercise is now. I never used to be active, but I can’t be anything else any more. I need to move. I have to get outside. I must sweat. And breathe. And run, and ride.
I don’t do very well with being told I can’t do the things I love. I want to do it all. That’s why being told I couldn’t fight last month after training so hard for it cut me real deep.
After a few weeks’ break to chill, sort some stuff out and reassess my priorities, I’m back in the game and am glad to be feeling myself again, but have made a few realisations along the way.
I’ve realised what’s important to me.
Health and wellbeing comes first. Getting outside to run and ride.
Taking time out to reflect, and write. Snatching an hour or two each week to shut down, switch off and practice yoga. Spending time with loved ones – proper time – not just sit-infront-of-the-telly time. Calling people more.
Doing things together – exploring, going on mini adventures, making memories.
Valuing experiences, not things. Unless those things give you experiences and create memories. (Hello, bikes).
Working to live, and never living to work.
We spend so much time worrying about what we should or shouldn’t be doing. We must work hard to build a career; we have to save money for a house; when are we having children, we’ve been married two years? We shouldn’t eat out so much.
Must cut down on coffee.
Don’t leave the washing up.
Stop sucking your thumb. (NEVER).
I’m 30 next week and to be quite frank I don’t want kids yet because I’m still a kid myself. I heard on the radio today that by 2020, first time buyers will need to earn more than £64,000 to afford a mortgage – with an eye-watering £46,000 deposit.
Now if that doesn’t make you dip into the savings for a shiny new mountain bike instead I dunno what will.
Kit the van out for a summer of camping trips. Buy a new skateboard with a bank of adult lessons. Get matching kit to go with each bike. Book luxurious spa days to recover from overpriced city marathons, and collect a suite of overpriced Apple products to capture it all on.
Rehome a cat and spoil it rotten. Get outside more.
Put what you can away into your savings, but don’t forget to live for now. Go play.
The ‘should do’s’ and obscenely unaffordable property ladder will still be there when (and if) you can be arsed.
*This post was inspired by another sensible 30 year old I know 🙂
What’s important to you?