Now before I explain my choice for this week, I want to be very clear that I realise, relatively, nothing I'm about to describe is particularly brave compared with the types of situations others might be facing. I thought that I was going to pick "game" as in, I'm game for that, but somehow brave worked better with what I wanted to say.
This is a hybrid of part-written posts that were all supposed to get uploaded this week but for a myriad of reasons, none made it to the point of publication. So do bear with me if this meanders a little!
I got looking back at my old blog when I was doing my first 365 post, just to see how I had got on last year when I started. I found this post, written exactly a year ago (or at least it was on Monday when I started writing about it!). It served as a good reminder, as our trip to Australia is ever more imminent, of promises I made last year. My secondment this year has resulted in lots more travelling up and down the country, and I have become far more confident with that, but I was still finding the thought of our long-haul flights ahead daunting. Reading that post was a start, but even more influential was the number of New Year posts where people had written about travel. They regretted not having done more in the months gone by, they vowed to visit more places, and to travel further afield in the year ahead. I realised what a wonderful situation it is to have the opportunity to go and visit family and cities halfway round the world, and decided to think positively, not fearfully. To be excited, and giddy, and brave when I start to panic, or worry, which I know I still will.
It was also haircut time, and I opted to get some reddish auburn highlights in my usually blonde hair, and have several inches cut off too. I had that moment in front of the mirror where the hairdresser had trimmed it, daring myself to ask her to take it shorter. I'm gradually getting used to both the occasional flash of red, and the shorter style, although new brushes have been purchased in an effort to keep it looking fairly groomed.
This week there was also, what shall hitherto be referred to as, the mandolincident. The vegetable slicing mandoline, rather than the musical mandolin, I hasten to add. The Husband very kindly purchased one for me for Christmas, and I excitedly lifted it out to make sliced potatoes for the top of a stew. Having problems with the finger guard I made the oh-so-foolish decision to carry on without it, and less than three slices later managed to take the top off my thumb. So part of my absence this week has been due to a slight level of incapacity, I had no idea just how crucial my right thumb was to daily life. Getting dressed, typing, holding cutlery, carrying a mug, I am very much suffering for my stupidity. I failed spectacularly at being brave when I had to change the dressing, instead opting to put headphones in and close my eyes whilst The Husband and mum have both had to clean it and cover it. I am doing it on my own now, having pulled myself together and stopped being quite so dramatic.
There has also been another opportunity to do some travelling with work in a few months time. On one hand it was a great chance to visit a new country, do as I had promised above and see the world, meet some interesting people, and do something different from the day job. From the minute it became a possibility I have been telling myself to be brave, to venture away from the norm and go for it. I didn't want to turn down such a one-off trip, and went back to work in January determined to go. The thought of flying without family filled me with dread, and the idea of going on a trip so far away and having other people plan the itinerary, flights and hotels also felt alien. Yet I kept giving myself a pep talk, telling myself that I couldn't miss out. Then we realised that the ideal period for getting visas and immunisations would fall at the time I was in Australia. Going on our holiday knowing I would be under significant pressure when I got back to sort them out in time felt less than ideal, and the chance that they could not get sorted felt risky. Still I felt silly, like I was wasting an opportunity, and letting people down; sticking within my comfort zone rather than exploring the world. I didn't want to pull out, but realised that it would be better to do so before bookings had been made, and better to decide now than spend our holiday worrying about coming home. So today I did just that. I spoke to a number of people and explained my reasons, I apologised and reiterated how grateful I was for the opportunity. I feel relieved, and glad that I was confident enough to change the plans when I realised they just weren't feasible for me at this time. I realised that sometimes being brave is not about pushing your boundaries but about accepting your limitations.
Linking in with Word of the Week at The Reading Residence