IN MEMORY OF THOSE LIGHTS WHICH SHONE BRIEFLY BUT BRIGHTLY
Things have been very busy lately at kayaking.ie. Warm sunny weather is making for some thoroughly enjoyable trips. It is such a pleasure to see the smiling faces of kayakers running rivers, weirs and drops for the first time. It’s also wonderful to see people connecting with nature in a new way. The power of nature to please and pacify is immense. There is a certain look on the faces of those who are really seeing and appreciating what is going on around them on the river. It’s delight and surprise and contentment all rolled into one. I’ve been seeing that look a lot lately on so many faces and I am feeling extremely privileged as a result. I’m seeing the same look reflected in the mirror. Although still a toddler, kayaking.ie is a thriving bouncing business through which I am managing to both earn a living and enjoy every single minute of my working life. I am not conceited enough to think that anyone really cares about this or has any interest in my ramblings. Maybe the sun has gone to my head but this week I am feeling a little retrospective and philosophical! And grateful. So bear with me. There is method to my rambling. Hopefully!
On 2nd July 2010 whilst traveling at 120kms on the Cork motorway just outside Cashel, one of my tyres suffered a blow out sending the van I was driving careering uncontrollably all over the road before it hit a barrier at the side of the road and toppled over. My passenger and I were knocked unconscious. On coming around we managed to climb out of the overturned vehicle. Although shocked and shaken we were otherwise unharmed. In the months preceding this incident I had managed to make some spectacularly unwise business decisions which had left me with some significant debts and losses (at least significant to me). There was a lot of turmoil going on in my personal life too and I was “in between” homes. In a short space of time, I had somehow managed to lose sight of myself, my dreams and my desire to leave the world a better place than I had found it. Financial strain was starting to effect my health and wellbeing and my happiness. I had lost touch with some very good friends. There’s something about being in a place that’s wrong for you. It seems to encourage conflict.
I decided to cut my losses and get out. I sold absolutely everything I owned resolute to start all over again. I had a plan. I had one last big sell up.I “managed” my debts. I bought a van and got some sign writing on it. I was going to reacquaint myself with my dreams. Myself and a friend decided to head to Cork for the weekend after which the hard work would begin . I couldn’t afford to pay the tax on the van as well as the diesel but we went anyway. It was time for things to change. 3 hours later I was sitting on the side of the road with a throbbing head, a written off vehicle and what was left of my possessions strewn all over the road. I’m not sure if I have ever felt so deflated. Of course now I can see, and I have always known, that material possessions mean absolutely nothing at all but I suppose it’s one thing to chose a life free from materialism and another to have no choice in the matter. I can also see now how lucky we both were to be alive and unharmed. I think my feelings of deflation were mostly to do with my being in the wrong place in the world for me. So there you have it. One the one hand having everything going for me in that I was fit, healthy, capable and alive and on the other hand feeling like the light at the end of the tunnel was very long way off in the distance. Having led a privileged life in many ways full of fortune, I didn’t really have the right to feel that way. But that’s how I felt.
So why on earth am I sharing all this with you? A bit of self indulgence firstly. Secondly because we owe it to those whose lives were cut far too short not to waste ours. Thirdly, having stepped more into the light than ever, I wanted to share what I have learnt or relearnt over the the past few years.
Remind yourself of your dreams. It is possible to follow and achieve them without neglecting your responsibilities. When it comes to it, most of our dreams are simple and stem from a desire to find our correct place in the world that we might be happier and better people.
Don’t forget who you are. Deep down, I think that we all know who we are we just need reminding from time to time.
Don’t confuse following your dreams with obsessive behavior. They can look like the same thing from the outside but stem from very different motivations.
When you find your place in the world let other people know how you did it.
Connect with nature and things that are natural.
Do something good for the world.
Laugh at yourself.
Check out this link http://youtu.be/rYFJtCsxYvs
If it’s a choice between diesel and tax go for the tax or you might end up in court 6 months later!!! 🙂
Happy talk, keep talking happy talk,
Talk about things you’d like to do,
You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?
– from Happy Talk, South Pacific