A new year! I sincerely hope it is a wonderful one for us and my warmest wishes to you all.
I decided at the turn of the year not to set myself resolutions because I know full well I won’t uphold them. This doesn’t mean I’m without aspirations for the year ahead. In fact I think I have far too many ideas and plans to squeeze into the twelve months of 2019.
First things first though and I want to announce I have put on hold my plan to kayak to the rest of the R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Stations around England, Wales and Ireland. I had announced this with some flourish late last year and went as far as getting the planned adventure endorsed by the R.N.L.I. in preparation for approaching sponsors and donors. Then I wrote a book and have had this accepted for publication. This is the book about my sea kayak journey around Scotland in 2015. I was faced with the dilemma of delaying publication while I undertake the kayak journey or cancel this and focus on the book. I chose the latter. The book has taken three years to come to fruition and to delay it further would be demoralising for me. This is the first book I have written and I want it to be something I’m really proud of. Therefore I need to focus on making sure this is the case.
Additionally, there are family concerns which have recently emerged and I can’t in all honesty take myself away for a seven month adventure.
I’m disappointed not to be undertaking what would have been the largest adventurous challenge I will have ever faced and there are moments when I express a big sigh when reflecting on this. However, this is the nature of adventure. There is never a certain outcome and I’m philosophical about the decision I have made. The 3900 miles of coastline and the lifeboat stations will be there in future years.
In the meantime though, I have plenty of ideas for shorter kayaking trips and other adventures. Realising I have these opportunities before me reminds me how fortunate I am. We have the yacht to sail locally and further afield, I have my kayak and endless miles of incredible coastline on my doorstep, and there are hundreds of square miles of mountains and wild land to climb and explore.
Attending to my mental health is a high priority. Thankfully I am feeling strong at the moment and have been for a couple of months now. Writing the book has helped with this. I’m keen to build on my strengthening sense of self and to share more about my experiences with depression and suicidal desires. I have ideas of achieving this through writing, social media and public speaking. Many of you may know me through Twitter and this is where I am most vocal about my mental health experiences.
I would like 2019 to be a year of connectivity for me, where I reconnect with friends, old and new, and forge new connections. To this end then, I live on the Isle of Mull and if you find yourself in Tobermory, I’d be delighted if you looked me up for a chat and a coffee.
Thank you for reading this and for your continued interest and support in my life.