New challenges on the horizon

I went for a 6 mile walk today. The main purpose of this was training for my Miles for Macmillan walk, which takes place in a week’s time (eep!) But it was also a great way to have a think, about a few decisions I’ve made and new challenges I’ve taken on.

Number 1: I’ve signed up to do a Creative Writing course with the Open University. This was something I was considering before I went on holiday, and after a chat with long-suffering hubby about finances and the time needed to study, I decided to go for it. Some of my family and friends have studied, or are studying, with the OU and highly recommend it. Also, a few writers I know have done the course and enjoyed it. So here I go: back to ‘school’ (as my American friends say. It’s called ‘Uni’ over here, you know). I always swore I would never do this. I last did University-style study over 20 years ago, so it’s going to be interesting… The course starts on 5th October, so you’ll hear more about it soon!

Number 2: With the aim of expanding the work I can do as a driver trainer, I’m going to do the highest civilian driving qualification there is. It’s called the RoSPA Advanced Driving Test – Gold standard. I won’t bore you with the details but basically, you have to drive to the standard detailed in the Police Driver’s Handbook, and the test is conducted by a serving or retired Police Officer. This will ultimately give me more work with companies and qualified drivers. Another challenge and of course, another source of income.

Unfortunately, I had a bit of a wobbly moment this morning, thinking “What have I done? I’ve taken on too much!” After all, I sadly still have one parent ill with cancer and one in a nursing home. I need time to do my current job, see friends and family and of course, hubby. I’m also one of these people who has to have time to themselves, just reading or listening to music. Aarrgh! Anyway, I’m glad I went for my long walk, as I had a good think about how I was going to organise all this stuff. Also, I saw 4 deer running and bouncing very fast through a field, as though they were racing each other, so that cheered me up too.

Ultimately, all this is part of my ‘If not now, when?’ philosophy. I don’t talk much on my blog about my relationship with my parents, as I find it really hard. I have often thought it would be cathartic, but the fact is, I just get really angry when I start doing it, and have to stop typing. Maybe the writing course will help unlock this block? For now, I’ll say this. My mother put her life on hold because my dad was ‘difficult’, and now she is too ill to do the things she always wanted to do: travel, join a choir, go walking all over Scotland, see old friends from her early years in Yorkshire and London. I NEVER want to look back and think “I COULD have done that, but I didn’t”. Hubby has the same philosophy. His dad died when he was just 10 years older than hubby is now. There might not be a ‘later’. So both of us are determined to do as much as we can while we are fit and able.

This whole post has turned out very serious! It wasn’t what I intended to blog about this week at all, but hey ho. I was going to mention the Creative Writing course, but the post was supposed to be more about writing in general. Never mind one’s characters taking off in unexpected directions, my own brain can’t be trusted to stay on course. Ah well, I guess this just needed to be written. Next time, I will try to get back to cats in washing baskets… 😉

Light reading...

Light reading…

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20 thoughts on “New challenges on the horizon

    • I wish I did get a villain to chase! Sadly you only get to do that if you’re actually a police officer. Everyone gets very exited when I say I’m doing police driving, but it’s more about being in perfect control of your car, expert cornering and gear-changing skills…that kind of thing. And you have to talk the whole time you’re driving about every single potential hazard you see. But as hubby will confirm, talking non-stop is not my problem, so I should be fine… 😉

  1. Really interesting blog Karen. You sound like someone who gets on and does things rather than talking , which is the best way to be. Best of luck with the writing course and the driving qualification, and hope your mother is comfortable. Is you husband always busy too?

    • Thanks Geoffrey! My mum is doing okay; she is a very practical person and mostly deals with her situation in a matter-of-fact way. Sometimes I think that’s not entirely a good thing, as it would do her good to let off steam occasionally.
      Yes, hubby is a busy person too – often more so than me! He usually has some project or other on the go. He likes old cars and kit cars, so there is often something in our garage being tinkered with! 🙂

    • Thanks for your words of encouragement, Elaine. I’m glad now that I wrote this post. And regarding the new ventures – no doubt there will be lots of writing/complaining/panicking about them in future posts! 😉

  2. I know exactly what you mean. I’m going through something similar. You have to seize the day even though it’s scary. I hope it’s exciting too?
    I’m sorry about your parents. That is really difficult x

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, the challenges are exciting as well as scary, and that’s what I’m trying to focus on. Exciting and hopefully, fun!
      The situation with my folks is difficult. It’s one of those things: it is what it is, and my life has to go on, so I try not to whine about it too much. But sometimes I need to let off steam!

  3. You are amazing, and you will totally pull this off. You will! You know what they say ~ if you want something done, give it to the busy person. That person is now you! I have studied with the OU and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m confident that you’ll find the schedule doable and the work engaging, and therefore it won’t feel like work at all. I whole-heartedly agree that you’ve *got* to ‘do’ stuff in this life. All the phrases spring to mind… Life’s not a dress rehearsal, Carpe Diem, you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do… when the going gets tough, the tough get going… I could go on and on. You get the idea!

    So take a deep breath, make yourself a workplan, and get going. Look forward, and never look back. Build in ‘you time’ (I need that, too!! So I know where you’re coming from). And, most importantly, share the journey with us. I’d love to cheer you on all the way, and it’s always fascinating to hear what you have to say. ROCK ON!

    • Thanks Nicky! You and my fellow writers are all wonderful – once again you’ve sprung into action with words of encouragement. I’m feeling the love today!
      As for sharing the journey – you bet! Soon my posts will be full of excitement/complaining/panicking as I do all this stuff. 😉
      Have a rockin’ week! xx

  4. Well done honey and i am very proud of you…….with all the amazing things you have done so far and all the very exciting things you are about to start……you are wonderful

  5. What a fantastic introduction post to your blog! Hope you don’t mind if I follow 🙂 I just got back from a walking/hitchhiking journey from Los Angeles to Portland…truly amazing, the way the mind flows while walking from one spot to another. Good luck with the Miles for Macmillan walk!

    And have fun with the Creative Writing course! Welcome back to uni 🙂 I can relate deeply to what you wrote about your parents & feelings while writing. I think it is part of the process, to hit and stumble across that block you experience as anger. Write through it. It is hard to break through, but it is certainly possible 🙂

  6. Great stuff Karen with the Creative Writing and Driving Course. I’m sorry about the situation with your parents though. Trust me, when you’re ready to talk about it, you will! It’s taken me a long time to start opening up and now that the flood gates have opened, I won’t stop until I’m done. Xoxoxo. Lily

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