I’ve never really been into making resolutions. Growing up, my Nanna used to tell me that I’d never be the sort to have a white picket fence – and she was right. I’m a restless soul, keen on adventure, new places and faces, curious of the other. I’ve mostly been able to balance this side of myself with stable relationships, including strong, lasting friendships and a beautiful husband, and a home (where ever I was) in which I felt comfortable and nurtured. I was living the life I’d always wanted, what use did I have for resolutions?
At the end of 2012, however, everything went a bit haywire. A badly fractured ankle landed me in hospital for four nights and off my feet for three months. At the time, we had finally, after years of itinerant living, bought our first flat. Boxes were piled to the ceiling and we were anxious to get settled, but my injury scuppered our plans. At first, I hid beneath a cloud of painkillers and plates of comfort food, until I could hobble well enough to accept a press trip to Saint Lucia in March.
And that’s when my Year of Escape truly began. Three trips to Morocco came next, followed by Edinburgh, Iceland, Lebanon, Italy (twice), France (twice), Greece, Norway, Chester, Spain, Germany, Trinidad & Tobago, Florida, South Africa and Australia. It was a phenomenal year, that brought me new friends and cherished experiences, such as walking with giraffes, foraging for ceps in a French pine forest, and spending time with some of the world’s top chefs, including Monica Galetti, Theo Randall and Christine Manfield. I truly sucked the marrow – pun intended – out of every opportunity, but looking back, it came at quite a cost.
I was an absent wife, daughter, sister, friend and blogger. Almost everyone put up with my self-indulgence, including you guys (thank you!) and a very forgiving husband, but I did manage to lose a very close friend who needed me. I’m not proud of this. Not one little bit. I’m hoping it’s not too late to repair the damage. Wish me luck. Goose The Cat also suffered, developing idiopathic cystitis every time I packed a suitcase. Whoever said that cats don’t have feelings can bite me. Poor petal, she’s on the mend now.
And this is not all. Gallivanting is great, but living off meagre commissions does not a nest-egg make. I’d love to pay my mortgage with tales of saving a convicted felon from drowning off the coast of a Caribbean island, but life doesn’t work that way.
All this is not to say that I won’t travel this year. I already have plans to visit New York in the Spring and I need to go back to Sydney soon, but I’m going to be pickier than I was last year and really concentrate on my goals, such as knuckling down and posting more here.
I was also running away from my novel. After finishing my MA and receiving loads of interest from agents, I completely freaked out and let my fear of failure get the better of me. So, yes, in 2014 I’m revisiting the tome that’s been niggling at me from the bottom drawer for nearly two years.
In addition to attempting to become a published author, I’ve a new project on the horizon. I’ve spent the holiday period planning and I hope to share with you soon. I’m so excited by it that I’ve been losing sleep. That should mean something, right?
Oh, and then there’s the 15kg I put on thanks to that pesky ankle and a lot of fine food. Off it comes, nice and healthy like.
So, here’s to 2014! Who’s with me?
© Kate McAuley 2014