I was reading this on one of those blogs you see pop up on the Facebook timeline constantly and I usually disregard but this one struck a chord with me. So I’ll mention the important ones, not all 37!
1. Not travelling when you had the chance
It’s funny because the older I get the more I understand how / why my parents lived their life the way they did when they were younger. In my 30’s I discovered sport, I travelled the world competing and went to some amazing places. We also visited America on holiday on many occasions and I look back at this with fond memories. It would be impossible financially to do half of that now, so I’m so grateful that we did it then. A few of the places we went to race:
- Gold Coast, Australia
- Athlone, Southern Ireland
- Budapest, Hungary
- Pontevedra, Spain
- Beijing, China
- Eilat, Israel
- Auckland, New Zealand
It was an amazing journey, many of the places are ones I wouldn’t have otherwise visited and probably won’t again, each had their own unique story. Gold Coast is somewhere we have been back to since, now we live down under but it was a surprise trip of a lifetime at the time, my mum didn’t believe I had made the team and we had 6 weeks to come up with the cash. So I sold my motorbike to afford the trip.
Athlone was a beautiful wee village and the only part of Southern Ireland I have ever had chance to visit despite my parents both being Irish and its just a short trip over the water.
Budapest told its own Cold War story, with bullet holes still showing in the sides of its grand old buildings and the most amazing parliament building on the bank of the mighty Danube. I saw a PB in this beautiful city and was introduced to NLP: something that would go on to change my life’s outlook.
Pontevedra was a cute wee Spanish town with a mighty hill we had to cycle up (and back) and I have fond memories of brushing up my Spanish – and Mark took an amazing photo of the brownlee brothers which we had signed and still have somewhere! Very hot!
Beijing: fond memories and sad ones. We couldn’t both afford to go so this was my first solo trip. The race was situated where the Olympics had been and it was sad to see some of the attractions built for that now in ruins. A vey curious city with some really strange laws but amazing beautiful old buildings and I got to stand on the Great Wall of china! (And so did Seamus!)
Eliat was dubbed the ‘danger zone’. An unusual trip where we felt like we were criminals, searched and double searched, a scarce desertous terrain and minefields so close you had to be careful where you went running. This stands as my highest place finish: 4th. And was to be my last. Sadly I didn’t get to go to Portugal the following year to try for the elusive third.
Auckland, changed my life. Less than 6 months after visiting here we were living here and it was not at all intentional. But I’m so glad that we were brace enough to do it! What a ride!
2. Not quitting a terrible job
Some might say I was mad, but I will never regret the bold decision I have made. In 2015 I resigned my teaching role – a lifelong career, one I never thought I would ever walk away from. I made myself redundant effectively. But there was good reason. Life is far too short to be unhappy. I had tried different jobs, I even tried a different country but it was time for change. Had I not done that, Ryding2Health Ltd wouldn’t be where it is now (and I would be tons richer!) however I still have no regrets. Money cannot buy you happiness.
3. Working too much
This is one I am very mindful of and it drove my decision to ultimately quit teaching. Teaching was what I did, but it had become who I was and that was never the intention. Trust me, being self employed is no walk in the park either but I have control of my own destiny. That is a powerful thing.
4. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment
I’m definitely guilty of this but my pace of life in New Zealand has slowed to half of what it was and this is a blessing because now I can stop and appreciate the beauty around me rather than spending $$$ needlessly. (Not that I have it to spend, mind you!)
5. Never taking a big risk.
Nope; not guilt of this one at all! I think moving the the other side of the world counts and a big risk and a half, so does quitting teaching with no clue of what I was going to do next!
6. Worrying too much
When I created the company Ryding2Health I most certainly was guilty of this! I’m learning, though!
7. Not spending enough time with loved ones
I can never change the fact that I was not there for mum in her hour of need. But then, she wouldn’t have wanted me to change my life’s course to be with her either. Selfless to the end, she didn’t even tell me she had terminal cancer till death was only 14 days away. Treasure the time you have with loved ones, because it can be snatched away in an instant.
8. Not being grateful sooner
When I was younger, I took so many things for granted and with hindsight I would have a heap of advice for my former self! Life is short. Grab opportunities when you get them. Look forwards with hope, not backwards with regret. Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.