As a busy working Mum, flying solo with my two sons and also wanting to support my Dad, life can be demanding to say the least. Like many women in their 40s and 50s, throw in the impact of the menopause and I can easily feel like I’m running on empty, physically, emotionally and mentally.
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to refill is to make time for tiny, joyful adventures. Running through the hills on a chilly winter morning, bodyboarding in the North Sea watching the sunrise or paddleboarding on a summer’s afternoon refill my soul and self-confidence.
Running or snorkelling make me slow down my breathing which in turn quietens the To Do list whirling through my head. Watching the waves and judging when to launch onto my bodyboard so that I fly to the shore means nothing else can distract me. I am fully living in the present, not worrying what I coulda, shoulda, mighta done at work or at home.
Falling off my paddleboard, spotting a seal as it pops up to say hello or simply splashing through the waves give me a huge, spontaneous smile. Laughing at my mistakes and not worrying what anyone thinks bring a glorious sense of freedom and play.
These adventures may last less than an hour – believe me, an hour in the North Sea in November is a long time! – but can feel like a world away from the pressures of the everyday. I return renewed, refreshed, revived. I’m often exhausted and exhilarated in equal measure. Calmer and yet more alive. My body is tingling, my heart full and my mind soothed. I sleep deeply. Oh so deeply!
They may be the tiniest of adventures, yet they gift the greatest of joys, which sustain me over the days and challenges ahead.
In our 50s we go into the world, working so hard to be the best mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and colleagues we can be. Tiny adventures allow us that rare and joyful opportunity to simply be ourselves. They gently bring us home again.