Tuesday, 7 January 2014

I Quit

2014 has barely reached the tender age of 150 hours and already I've conquered my most important new year's resolution: I've handed in my notice. Thrown in the towel. Resigned. Quit.

It wasn't easy.

Over the weekend, I had dreams of my manager crying, shouting, even beating me and holding me hostage as I break the news, or perhaps (even more terrifyingly) giving me the I'm-not-angry-just-very-disappointed treatment. But in reality it was all rather subdued.

I told her in a gentle voice that I had received an offer which I intended to accept. She nodded sincerely and enquired about the details, then congratulated me with genuine warmth.

I'd prepared to have to explain myself, to justify my decision, I'd made lists of complaints and reasons I couldn't stay, but that all faded into insignificance.  Should she even bother trying to change my mind? No, I said firmly, because sometimes it's just right to let go, make a change and embrace the future.

AS WE MEAN TO GO ON

I've always professed that we should all begin new years as we mean to go on, and if the first week is anything to go by, then I'm in for a big one.

Next week I'll be taking my first ever trip to Austria and on a ever so marginally more momentous note, I'm moving house, running my first marathon and leaving my "early twenties" behind. That only takes us up to mid-May.  The second half of the year could feature anything from flying to the moon, running with wolves and swimming with sharks. At the moment - and in the immortal words of one of our favourite sports outfitters - impossible really is nothing.

Depending on how battered and bruised my debut marathon leaves me, I'd like to comit to my next sporting challenge. Perhaps an autumn triathlon or an adventure on two wheels - suggestions, as always, are welcome.

Later on, and financially permitting, I'd like to visit Canada and ski Whistler. If it really is as magical as it sounds, I might never come back - a prospect that actually seems more realistic than some far more mundane things: Watch a Star Wars movie, eat an avocado,  buy a Miley Cyrus album. No thanks.

REAL RESOLUTIONS

When I left my parents' house after Christmas - fed, rested and mollycoddled - my mum gave me a hug gripped my shoulder, told me not to loose weight and to look after myself. Whatever adventures, challenges and feats I accept in 2014,  I've decided that her words will be my true new year's resolutions. Especially now that the big one is out of the way.

It's a big hectic world out there, but sometimes its worth shrugging off habits - as comfortingly familiar as they are - and putting the most important person in the world first. I'm sure that's what my mum meant when she hugged me fairwell.

A little over a year ago, I read a poem, pinned to the back of the door of a toilet cubicle in a cafe in Brighton.

The first line read: "This is your life. Do what you want and do it often. If you don't like something, change it."

I took it to heart, ended a relationship, started a new one, moved house, prepared to move a second time, made friends, broke ties, quit my job and emerged a happier person.

I'd strongly recommend that this year, you do the same. I certainly will. Life's too short not to.

Happy New Year.

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