Been off the radar again on a family ski holiday – my first in eight years. I love skiing, SO good for the soul; *killer views, gliding down a mountain, being forced to push yourself physically and mentally, totally absorbing and an incredible feeling. An all consuming week with no time to think of my daily 500 words. Just snow.
If you think I’m confident about my skiing abilities you’d be wrong. I am definitely a better writer than a skier – draw your own conclusions!
My instructor gave great words of encouragement like, “speed is your friend” – ha! Speed began our relationship by sticking a ‘kick me’ sign on my back while pointing and laughing. Speed and I gradually became acquainted but my old adversary, confidence, frustrated us both at the end. I skied some great ‘cruisey-blues’ and my instructor planned a red run (Vizelle) for our last session. I trembled my way down the mountain looking like a rugby player in heels – ungainly, no style or swagger. I just. Got. Down.
I was a very different person before I had my children. Did I swap my bravery and chutzpah for them? I wasn’t aware of that deal.
The first couple of years as a new parent were spent in a fuzzy baby haze – I was happily consumed by my new role. As my two boys became more and more independent and able to do more for themselves (which I encourage), I remembered the old me and found myself longing to be part of the adult world again – to talk with adults in an adult way, using big words like grown-ups do. I missed the mental stimulation of mature conversation – the challenge to my thoughts and vocabulary. The play of conversation, the quirks, the teasing etc. I’d been a part of that world but after children I leaned up against the window of those conversations; I pressed my nose up hard against the cold glass until it misted over and blurred my view but, still, I heard every word. It felt like I was losing ground as an intellectual equal to my husband, friends and family. I missed it.
I needed a way back in and writing has become my cure. I’m confident my artistic abilities will never leave me, art and design will surely play it’s part. Slowly but surely I’m gaining confidence and redefining myself.
Should I aim to climb a mountain and plant a flag? No, here’s what I will do: I’ll take two lifts, ski Swiss and Loze with the wind in my face and speed at my back.
Just watch me.