For the second Saturday running, I’ve found myself completely and utterly covered in mud. Last week it was the Tough Mudder in Yorkshire – an 11 mile obstacle course in, you guessed it, mud. This week, the surroundings were a little different: a mud bath in the sulphuric sludge of a volcano in St Lucia. One left me with bruises, a free tshirt and a sense of achievement; the other left my skin feeling silky smooth and me (allegedly) looking 10 years younger. As I still occasionally get ID’d in Tesco, I’ll have to assume I now look approximately seven years old. Both Saturdays were memorable and unique.
For anyone who read the title of this post and thought it was going to be the sequel to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, shame on you! For anyone who is wondering what on earth I’m doing blogging whilst on holiday, I can tell you that as someone who enjoys writing, scribbling away on a sun lounger with the Caribbean waves lapping against the shore a few yards away doesn’t feel like work. I’m not trying to gloat, I promise. However, in order to make a more salient point, I will have to describe a few things I’ve been up to.
I’m a person who likes to plan, to dream, to think about the future. This can be a strength and a weakness. I usually know where I’m supposed to be and when, plus getting your stuff ready the night before means you can sleep for longer. The problem is, when you spend time planning your time, it turns out that the time you’ve planned can mysteriously disappear. With that in mind, I have recently tried to live in the moment a bit more. Spontaneous “yes’s”, saying out loud (ideally to another person, although not a prerequisite) that I’m having a good time/enjoying myself/”This is awesome!”/suitable alternative, and taking a second to breathe it all in are helping me do this.
Of course, it’s sometimes easier to get excited about living in the moment when you are doing something different, fun or interesting. For example, if I were to write a list of things I’ve done this week, it would include: Doing Tough Mudder, watching the boy win a Commonwealth medal whilst on WAG duty, snorkelling amongst tropical fish, taking a mud bath, going to a drive-through volcano and swimming in a waterfall. I am aware that I’m pretty lucky to be able to write a list like that (and rest assured, it isn’t a typical week). But there are other things I could happily describe as awesome from the last seven days: A roast dinner and log fire in August, a kindly member of the public handing my lost purse into the police station, a chilli pepper actually growing in our plant pot (miracle – trust me) and the fact that England have finally remembered how to play cricket. My point is, suck it up and breathe it in. Not every moment in life is perfect, but every moment is unique.
Presumably there’s a reasonable chance that I won’t spend next Saturday rolling around in the mud. Whatever I am doing though, at some point I will take a few seconds to look around and take in my surroundings. I will remind myself to remember the moment. Maybe my overriding feeling will be that I’m glad I haven’t got mud stuck in unimaginable places for the third week in a row…. Ahh, good dirty fun.