I don’t want my blog to be about things I’ve done and a plethora of advice pointing the finger to suggest that you ‘must’ do this, because I feel we all know in our hearts what is right for us, it’s just getting the courage to do exactly that. But there will be times where I feel I want to give some inspiration to those who need a little shove, and this is one of those times… when you discover the point of no return.
It was back in March 2008. I’d been working my own business for just over seven years, I’d been a mum for a little less than seven years, and I’d been the main breadwinner for that entire time. My husband kept making promises that he will have a successful business and that one day, I will be able to stop writing for real estate and do what I want to do. In that time, he’d been overseas four times, plus did a couple of trade shows interstate, and each time, I had to run my business, run his business and look after the boys. We had sold our home ten months prior to have the funds to service his business, but really all it gave us was a pool of tens of thousands of dollars for him to go buy himself a Mercedes without asking me, spend money on legal fees on ‘pipe dream’ business ideas and for him to live it up in the cafe culture, while I continued to work 12-16 hour days.
I was always scared that if I wasn’t there for my clients when they needed me, I would lose my business. And my business was my lifeline. I would turn up to properties at 5pm on New Years Eve, take phone calls at 10pm on a Thursday night for a property due the next day at midday, I wrote ads three hours after I gave birth in hospital, essentially, I would jump over hurdles to make sure that my clients could rely on me. It kept the roof over our heads, fed my children and made sure we continued a comfortable life. My husband was spending more on his business than we needed to survive, and not bringing a cent in, so our funds were dwindling down at a rate of knots. I was being squashed into a corner with no sense of self except a strong work ethic and being a good provider.
It was time for me to bite the bullet. I’d never owned my own passport and I thought it was about time I did. I emailed my high school friend Tracy in London and asked her if she was interested in a guest for a week or two for her birthday at the end of May. She had been on my back about getting my passport for years, so she was very excited about the prospect. My husband was fine to look after the fort while I was away, however it was extremely hard to tell my clients and provide a back-up for them who was satisfactory to use temporarily, but not good enough for them to continue using them when I came home.
Tracy was excited, and we started to plan my time over there. She couldn’t see me for her birthday, as someone in her office had already asked for that time off, so we planned ten days a week later. She thought it would be silly for me to come all this way without taking a detour over to Paris, so we booked the Eurostar and a fleeting night in the ‘city of love.’ We also booked a car to travel up to the north of England to the Lakes District to have a little country escape. The rest of the time would be in London, where Tracy would need to work a few days, which was fine by me.
I booked my trip and was literally the most excited I had been in years. This was at last, something for me. Researching my stay pumped me up even more. Looking at maps, at how the London Underground & the Paris Metro works, seeing how I can enjoy the time but do it on a budget at the same time. And it was an amazing feeling that I was budgeting for one, and not two or four. Essentially, I was making myself informed, but not planning too much, except for the one night in Paris and the two nights in the Lakes District. Everything else would just happen. I was tired of being stuck to a regimented timetable with work and my home life, this holiday would be a chance to break those boundaries and just go with the flow. I had to find myself again, find what rings true with me, and this was my chance.
The start of June arrived. My clients had praised me for taking some long-awaited time off, so I felt comfortable about leaving them at this relatively quiet time of the year. I wasn’t nervous about leaving my boys at home as I knew my husband was capable on a temporary basis. I was feeling good. I wasn’t nervous about traveling to the other side of the world by myself, which I half expected I would. I was prepared and knew what I was doing, knowing that whatever happens will be.