Saturday, 14 February 2015

It's time to say goodbye...

Five years ago I started Project Grace 2010 in the lead up to my 40th birthday. This year marks the halfway point between that milestone and the next big one. 

Oh. My. God. 

There are big changes ahead this year,  "I can feel it in my waters" (in the words of Kath Day-Knight).

We (my husband Patrick and I) are in the final stages of preparing to sell our first home - this has been one of the most difficult things I've had to face. Letting go of a beautiful property that backs onto a tree-lined creek - am I mad?

But life has taken me on a journey beyond my imagination. Little did I know that the seeds planted in Project Grace 2010 would lead to a life where I live between Australia and France for 6 months at a time. 

I now work full time for a company called Bikestyle Tours and when I'm not running cycling trips in Australia, Italy, France or Spain, I'm doing behind the scenes preparations and creative designs. 

Though this lifestyle is as amazing as it sounds (I do have the best office views), it has made it impossible to move back into our house. An empty house is an empty house - you can always tell when no-one's home despite whether the lights are on or off.

It's time to say goodbye. 

Not only to our home, but to the life we thought that we would be living - one with babies, pets and friends with same-aged children. While I love the life I am living now, it's not without missing what could have been. If I could, I'd have it all. But this was not my choice to make.

A new chapter awaits. 

As with all new adventures there'll be challenges and triumphs. My biggest challenge, I know, will be to let go. 

In the spirit of 2010, I have started a new project to facilitate this transition - Project Letting Go

After numerous attempts to revive my blog, Project Grace 2010, it's time to say goodbye - for good.

It was only ever meant to last a year. Coming back here to launch several 'comebacks' was like putting on an outdated jacket that didn't quite fit anymore. It really is time to let go, and move on. 

If you have been following my journey on this platform, Facebook and/or Instagram, I invite you to my jump on my new platform and continue to travel with me as I embark on this new journey. 

Goodbye to Blogger and to Project Grace 2010... and hello to Tumblr and Project Letting Go

All aboard. Toot Toot!

With love (and gratitude for giving me the space to express myself).

- Grace xxoo

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Happy 10th Birthday Facebook

A beautiful and treasured gift I received today.

- Grace xo

Monday, 3 February 2014

Packing the Poop Chute

Since my last post I bid good riddance to 2013 and the year of the slippery snake, and welcomed 2014 and the year of the wood horse (let's hope it's not the Trojan variety).

My mind slipped into a vortex of possibilities and I became flooded with big picture questions such as - What to do next? Finish what I've started? Explore new avenues? Close doors on the past? Open new doors to the future? What shall I make for lunch?

My husband's mantra is, "Why choose? Have it all" - to which I often subscribe to.

However with so much swirling in my head I needed time to let things settle, become clear, and take steps to prioritise and organise my 'Jumps'. With that came a wave of anxiety. Some may say, "I packed my dacks" others, "I sh*t my pants" whereas I've created a new term for this uncomfortableness that precedes impending change, hard work and leaps into the unknown - "I packed my poop chute!"

... Actually, I'm still packing...

While poop is often used to indicate one's mishaps or nervousness, its most obvious definition is putrid waste. As for the chute, it's a device that slows the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag.

So in a nutshell, I have been shoving a whole lot of useless crap into something that I believe will save me, but in reality is dragging me back and slowly delivering me to where I first started.

How have I not noticed this?

It's time for me to let go of my chute. Completely. Forever.

I am still preparing to jump, only instead of packing my poop chute - I am learning to strengthen my wings. It's time to start flying.

Until our next cuppa, look at how you seek protection and ask yourself, "Is this really a hinderance?"

- Grace xxoo

ps. A big congratulations to Donald Ridley who did his first water slide in Bali last year at age 44. You rock! (I too did my first ever water slide last year at age 42. So we have something else in common)

pps. A big thank you to Amber who stopped me in Adelaide last week and told me to keep writing.

ppps. An even BIGGER thank you to you if you've read this far. Just knowing you're here keeps me inspired xo

If you love it, why not share it? 
Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Pinocchio and the 'Big Picture To Do List'

How many times have you written down your 'Big Picture To Do List' (which is inevitably infiltrated with little picture, really-must-get-these-things-done tasks) and by the time you get to the bottom of the page you're overwhelmed, exhausted by the sight of it and think you're insane and a complete fraud for even thinking about such grandiose ideas?

Okay... let me take a step back...

How many of us even write a  'Big Picture To Do List'?

For those with an overactive imagination, the need to have a sense of purpose and whose present-moment experience is highly influenced by the direction one is heading (i.e. me) - leveraging the 'Big Picture To Do List' can transform one from bobbing around aimlessly in an ocean full of options, to launching into life like a target-locked missile, gaining speed and momentum with each nanosecond.

Whilst 'To Do' lists are useful in ticking boxes and getting things done, the inherent problem with the 'Big Picture To Do List' is that it is, by definition, 'Big Picture' - which can often take years to manifest. So when one's 'Big Picture To Do List' remains stagnant, and what was written down 5, 10, 15, 20+ years ago is still there today, it leaves one questioning oneself - Who am I kidding? 

But before we judge ourselves, we ought to acknowledge that all 'To Do' lists have a major downfall that severely impacts the psyche of even the minutest of overachievers. They fail to recognise what has been achieved (often in place of what was on the list). Just as living into a promising future shapes our present moment experience, so too does recognising an accomplished past.

For all of us grappling with new-age notions and forbidding the future and past to intrude on the present - let me just tell you here and now that it's bullshit. Reflecting on the past and visualising a future gives context to our now. I don't condone dwelling in either direction, but brief glances to shape our present experience is what makes us human (I have no interest in being divine, sorry).

After yesterday's post many have pledged to write a 'Jumping List'. So with saying goodbye to 2013, and hello to 2014 - I ask that we not only plan our future jumps, but also acknowledge our past jumps. For failing to celebrate our achievements is hiding our truth from ourselves - and that's the biggest Pinocchio lie of all.

Until our next cuppa, start writing... and when you're overwhelmed by the future, take courage from your past.

- Grace xo

If you love it, why not share it? 
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Are you afraid to jump?

In 1992 I took a leap of faith and booked a one-way flight to London. I had little money and no real plans - my main motivators being freedom, independence and personal growth.

My parents freaked...

Dad: What are you going to do when you get there?
Me: I'll stay with my friend Tarls until I get on my feet.
Mum: How are you going to support yourself?
Me: I'll get a job.
Dad: Why don't you wait till you find a job first and then leave?
Me: I've already booked my ticket - I'm going. Don't worry - I'll find a job and I'll be okay.

And within 2 weeks, I jumped.

The following year I received an invitation to my (then) boyfriend's friend's wife's cousin's wedding... in Jamaica (as you do). Flights to Montego Bay ex London were cheap so how could I refuse?

Our cultural wedding experience was followed by a 2-week adventure that circumnavigated the island. We took advice from locals and ended up at Rick's Cafe in Negril, which is now famous for its high cliff-top jumping platforms that challenge thrill seekers to plunge into the turquoise Caribbean Sea below.

Back then, we were the only non-locals within cooee of this site - and I, the only female. Testosterone filled the air with dares and backward triple somersault jumps. I watched in anxious awe.

My companion urged me to jump assuring me that I'd love it. Instead of starting at the lower jump points - I went straight to the top of the highest platform (35ft /10.7m) .

I looked down at what seemed to be 5kms (3.1mi) below and retreated. My companion continued to jump and climb, jump and climb, jump and climb - he was like a lab rat on speed. With each plunge he assured me that I could do it, and I'd love it.

This immediately took me back to a time when I was a child at my Aunt's beach house. All my cousins would jump from a sandy cliff height of about 1.5m (5ft) onto the soft sand below. Many times I stood at the top with the intention to jump, but I just couldn't do it. Ever.

So here I am (I could hear myself thinking), I have an opportunity to have a breakthrough. Make up for all the little jumps I missed out on as a child. Do it Grace, do it.

My companion jumped in once more and from the water below called up to me, "Come on Grace - you'll loooooove it! Just jump like a tin soldier - keep your feet straight like a pin".

Before I knew it, I had launched myself from the platform.

Utterly terrified I heard a blood-curdling scream echoing all around me. It was mine. I felt myself accelerate through the fall to a point where I hit warp speed - the fastest ever free fall.

In my terror, I had become completely paralysed. I could not straighten my legs and I hit the water with the thud of my butt. It was like landing on a sandpit - from 5kms high.

What followed was years of pain and spinal complications arising from the inability to sit with good posture - what's worse was that my favourite hideout in the guise of a movie cinema, was now a torture chamber. Not a fitting reward for my bravery, I thought.

As time went on and the pain persisted, I began to view my jump as much less courageous and more likely stupid. Why do we do that with 20/20 hindsight? If I'd have had a successful breakthrough and conquered my fear of jumping - then I'd have been a hero. Instead, I deemed myself a loser.

Since then, I have become increasingly afraid to jump - both literally and metaphorically. My fear of perpetuating a 'loser outcome' has kept me safe, but it has also eroded my youthful spirit of optimism and possibility - the same spirit that had me buy that one-way ticket to London in the first instance.

Life continually tempts us with opportunities, presents us with challenges and dares us to take risks. If we are not jumping, are we passively paralysing ourselves and asphyxiating our spirit?

Right now I am on the precipice. I have so many projects that I have yearned to manifest, but my fear of jumping has kept them safely locked away in the pipeline, on the back burner and when I have money, energy and time.

With only two days of 2013 left, perhaps now is the time to prepare my chute and get ready to jump in 2014. Who's with me?

Until our next cuppa, think about where in life you are afraid to jump - and start packing your chute too.

- Grace xo

If you love it, why not share it? 
Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Is the comeback making a comeback?

Hello, is there anybody out there?

It's been near on 3 years since declaring my last post and everything in this virtual landscape has changed (so much). I thought it'd be like coming home, but it's all so different now... or is it...?

Why do we (Ron Burgundy and 1960's, 70's & 80's rock bands) feel the need to make a comeback?

Is it because we are trying to recapture the feelings of success and adoration we enjoyed all those years ago?

Is is because that every 'new' thing we've tried since our departure has failed, or simply did not give us the same buzz?

Is a comeback similar to rekindling an old flame? We go back because of great memories - but in time, will we soon be reminded why we split up in the first place?

All is to be revealed (to myself also).

So why the comeback - my comeback - and will it last?

Truth is, I don't know.

I reinvented myself a gazillion times after Project Grace 2010 in my pursuit of the perfect persona and the perfect blog - but I felt like I was an impostor... of myself.

Weird, I know.

I started Project Grace 2010 with a specific intention of 'finding myself' leading up to my 40th birthday.

The thing is, I am continually evolving (aren't we all?) and I failed to allow my blog to evolve with me.

I held a rigid interpretation of the title, which made it seem odd for me to continue beyond 2010. How silly was I?

Three years later,  my view has expanded. Project Grace 2010 can mean whatever I choose for it to mean. I am the creator, the author - just as I am creator and author of my life... it's time to start writing... again.

Until our next virtual cuppa, where in life can you alter your interpretation and make a comeback?

Grace xo

ps. Thank you Kate for your encouraging words on 6th September 2010.

If you love it, why not share it? 
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Beyond Project Grace 2010

After much contemplation, I declare that Project Grace 2010, the blog, has come to its timely end.

It was not an easy decision and, at first, was hard to let go. However there were a number of factors that made the way clear.

January 1st, 2011 seemed like an obvious expiration date for a 2010 project and I realised that continuing with it would have diluted its significance and potentially morph it into something else.

I concluded that Project Grace 2010 needed to be honoured and shine in cyberspace as a stand alone star. Had I proceeded to use it as a daily blog, I risked overshadowing the project itself. I could not allow this. I owe so much to it.

You see, Project Grace 2010 saved my life. When I reflect on how lost I felt the day I started, I realised I have conquered a mountain - Mt. Fabulous At Forty in fact. I have gained so many insights and in many ways have learned more in its 9-month duration than I did in the 39-years leading up to it. It gave me perspective, resolution, confidence, self worth and an enormous sense of purpose. I am forever grateful.

In its wake, there was an empty space. A void I couldn't live with. So I started something new. Something that would give me as much purpose and passion as Project Grace 2010. I like to think of it as my project's offspring - which makes perfect sense seeing the gestation period was exactly 9 months.

So without further ado, I am delighted to introduce you to Trailing Grace.

Trailing Grace is my new blog sans expiry date. I invite to join me at my new cyber home and continue to share my journey as I travel through life's peaks and troughs. This evolving new space is destined to have many virtual rooms, though at this stage is a little stark and needs an interior decorator (aka me) to get to work on it pronto.

Until we meet again at my new abode, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

Grace xx

If you a. love me, b. love my blog, c. love this post or d. all of the above - please SHAREBookmark and Share

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...