Year Off

First thoughts:
I’m asked to assume I’ve got all the travel out of my system in Year One, and think about what I would do in Year Two of having no financial worries. Not sure that would happen, as I do love to travel and the world is big, but let’s try.

If I were still this fat, I might book myself into some kind of health farm/boot camp. I might find a therapist to sort out the internal stuff.

But both of these are taking not giving, working on myself rather than putting out.

What I care about is education, fighting ignorance and prejudice (including religion) to make the world a better place. But I don’t see what if anything I can do about it. Not saying there isn’t anything, but the job (worldwide – from Taliban to Trump) seems too big and I have no idea how I or even governments can tackle it.  I mean, I don’t even know what I would do about it if I ruled the world.

That is all (as well as defeatist) quite worthy.  It doesn’t sound like fun. I am being encouraged to allow myself some fun, some stuff that *I* like.  So, OK, give me friends and family and a garden to work in, and masses of flowers throughout the house.  And can I live at once in London, and somewhere overlooking a lake, and can the sun shine not always but often.  And some comedy on TV/radio/internet.  And music.  And books.  Now I am beginning to feel greedy.  And can I have some kind of job or role in which I am recognised for my expertise, but still learning?  Can that learning be because I am following my curiosity, and not because I am hopelessly out of my depth?

I have found it very difficult to get any further with this exercise, and think about what I would ACTUALLY DO, because honestly I think I would just – funds and family responsibilities permitting – take myself off to some fat farm.

I suppose I could have worked on the assumption that that was what I did in year one, and devoted myself in the year off exercise to what I would do if I had all that behind me, but I am ashamed to say that I find this too painful to contemplate, and I don’t know why, and I know it is important.

I know that for far too much of my life I have thought that I would do such and such, and everything would fall into place ‘when I got thinner’.  During which period, I got fatter.  And although I had children to look after, I did not have at that time anything to stop me getting fitter and sorting myself out except…. ME.

Can’t quite put my finger on it, and I am apprehensive about posting this because it seems somehow…. unseemly, but I wonder whether that quote by Marianne Williamson has some relevance:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.


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Florence Feynman

I am a middle aged, middle class woman, thinking.

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