In the interests of honesty, dear reader, I’m going to fess up… It’s been a ‘challenging’ year.
It’s not just the massive Trip Task List that’s been keeping me awake in the middle of the night as I weigh up the merits of one camp stove over another, or wonder how the heck you upload maps and waypoints on the new GPS, or whether my clothing system is going to be warm enough for us in the anything-can-happen-at-any-time New Zealand climate. And it’s not just the roller-coaster ‘knee-improvement program’ that I’ve been working on with my physio since February (Yeah they’re getting stronger! Wait a minute, that hurt… Okay, that’s working now!), or the devastation at discovering Belle might not be well enough to do this long planned for trip. And its not just the bad relationship that finished earlier in the year, leaving me completely drained and broken.
The final challenge for me is an ongoing struggle with Melbourne Mayhem.
With stress levels already sky high, I now find myself seriously struggling with the additional challenges that come with inner city living… Squashed into crowded trams with someone’s armpit in my face, music spilling from earphones, the tapping of fingernails on ipads, tooting horns from drivers on a mission, jack hammering from roadworks, pollution pumping out of exhaust pipes and filling my lungs, hordes of people walking as though in a daze with eyes locked on smartphone screens….
Friends also suffer disconcerting symptoms… Crazy workload? Permanent headache? No time to exercise or eat properly? Sure. Apparently that’s ‘normal’, and we accept it as so.
I am surrounded by so much grey and so little natural landscape, and I feel the disconnect between where I am and where I want to be. My body screams its message loud and clear, insisting on my attention. I feel as though someone is squeezing my heart in their fist. My breathing is shallow and I’m overwhelmed. My over stimulated brain struggles to process the glut of information I am bombarded with daily and I yearn for the peace and quiet that I know I will find in the wilderness.
Four weeks to go
Bring it on…