What was I doing this time last year?
I was preparing to go on an Odyssey holiday http://www.odyssey.org.uk/ . A wonderful one off, unique experience.
I had no idea who I was going to be going with or where. I was given a list of what to pack and that was that.
I nearly chickened out with planning the wedding and used every excuse under the sun to get out of it. Nerves and apprehension.
There were two locations for pick up. One was the railway station in Shrewsbury the other was Dobbies Garden Centre. I opted for the garden centre as had a few others.
We were then collected by a mini bus with a trailer. Our luggage was loaded and off we went not knowing where we would end up. We were all busy guessing though.
I had envisaged a youth hostel type holiday or camping. It was much better than that.
What I learnt in those five days was a lot about myself. I nearly quit after the first day out on the Monday and by Tuesday night things were even worse as I was so hard on myself thinking I should be able to do everything and then realising I couldn't with my disabilities and various ailments.
On the Wednesday I insisted I stay indoors but Glyn had a good chat with me and said I would never forgive myself if I didn't give the course a good go. He was right of course.
I went out that morning and joined in as best I could. I couldn't walk far so they allowed me to be in the minibus while the others did the activity. Again I felt bad and thought to myself why had I allowed myself to go on this trip.
That day was a turning point for me in more ways than one. After the first activity had finished I already knew what the second task of the day was and was up for it. I asked if I could go across first as I had been hanging around for so long if I didn't I would never make it across.
With staff like this you can assume what you are letting yourself in for http://www.odyssey.org.uk/staff.php?calledFrom=1 Glyn and Hugo were part of our staff team.
I am so glad I hadn't looked at the website beforehand as the experience of the Wednesday afternoon was fantastic for me. It was my "finding myself" moment and this really helped turn me around.
I try and ensure I have moments like this every week to have peace, quiet and tranquility to do what I want without any interruptions. Whether it be writing or attempting new things I give things a go. Nothing ventured nothing gained. If you don't put things on to paper you have failed by not trying.
The Thursday morning we got up knowing this was our last full day of activities the following morning we would be heading home.
Dinner that night was special as many of the charity's supporters came to see us and chat about our experiences. I will never ever forget that week.
I attempted new things and didn't complete them all. Did it mean I was a failure? Not one bit I had a go and came out the other end smiling eventually.
I still get emotional thinking of how I felt the first two days battling with my inner self.
I suppose writing experiences can be the same. I battle with the thoughts inside, are they good enough to write down? I try and then look again. No. Discard and start again.
Sometimes things come to me easily others not so good. That is what life is full of struggles but it is what makes us strong.
Would I do things all over again in exactly the same way? Yes for most and those that really needed change I would.
One thing for sure is I have no regrets about attending the Odyssey course.
I certainly needed this time of reflection it has put things in perspective.