19th January 2017
It’s early morning and the drizzly, dull excuse for winter daylight is starting to penetrate through the light bedroom curtains. As I emerge rather groggily from what was yet another restless, fitful sleep, I remember with trepidation that today is my fifty seventh birthday, and I am yet another year closer to the big SIX O!
Pulling the duvet over my head to shut out the cold winter air and life in general, I contemplate mine for what must be the millionth time lately.
Isn’t this meant to be the time of life when a woman should be enjoying her grandchildren and planning her retirement and even Saga Holidays with her husband?! At least that’s how I always envisaged my life would be at this point in my journey. But like so much of my life it hasn’t turned out quite like I’d expected.
Last week I reluctantly gave up my hotel business after years of struggling to keep it afloat amid the banking crisis and the recession. Four weeks ago I lost my dog; my soul mate and companion of twelve years; and less than four months ago I suddenly lost my best friend; my wonderful mum.
Husband number two went more than a decade ago after he had an affair with a young bimbo and a nasty and painful divorce ensued. He has never been replaced; albeit not for the want of trying, but you can only kiss so many frogs. And the promised 2.3 children were never forthcoming.
So apart from my home which I love, but which comes with a huge mortgage and is suddenly so empty without my mum or my dog, I realise I have no anchor; no purpose and nothing to define who I am.
I see that I have two choices here:
Life is what you make of it and I strongly believe in the power of positive thoughts and positive attitude. I also believe that your fate is already written and in the words of my very Scottish mother “Whit’s fir you Winnae Ging Passed Ye Darlin!”
So here I am, at the age of 57 years, embarking on a completely new chapter of my life. I have no idea what is ahead of me. I am struggling to come to terms with all of my losses; I am scared; I am constantly questioning life and I have cried so much lately that I have eczema on my eyelids and tear tracks! I’ve even got it on my forehead where I have anxiously rubbed so much – a great big red blotch right there fore everyone to see (thank goodness for makeup) – and it is around my nose where I have blown the snot away too often! My weight has ballooned, I drink too much wine and I’ve lost my fitness – I am a physical and emotional mess!
But I carry my physical and emotional mess as a testament to the depth of my love and commitment to all that I have lost.
And there are four things I know for sure –
So moving on from all of the “woe is me” stuff and in the absence of any other plans I am going to take a bit of time to re-adjust in the world.
I will be without an hotel for the first time in thirty five years but I am going to follow my huge passion in life and feed my wanderlust.
I am going to attempt to blog while I go, linking my trips with my knowledge of hospitality and tourism and perhaps realise a long held fantasy of being a writer. I might even be able to inspire other middle aged people who find themselves at a frightening crossroads in their lives and hopefully I’ll even earn a small income along the way to cover my mortgage!
So I guess that makes me a middle aged, barehotelier, solo travel blogger!!!