Take a Chance!


So this is where my real midlife starts……….with a home on wheels. Bear with me while I digress……

I’m a great believer in people coming into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime, and believe me, I’ve had my fair share of reasons and seasons. But I can happily say, hand on heart, mostly positive reasons and mostly through the wonders of online dating {maybe more on that in future blogs}.

I wanted a van, end of, and I was bloody well going to get one…….I’d treat myself for my 50th. It fit nicely with when I would finish paying the bank the money I borrowed for the car . . . . . . . .I could just ‘reborrow’ it, we’ll call it recycling {I’m all for doing my bit for the environment and if recycling cash counts then I’m in}. Plan made, all hunky dorey!! Then I went on a date, and as we got chatting over a glass of pop {the perils of driving to a date, but, safety first!} a seed was planted, ‘just have a look and see what’s about now’ he said, “no harm in just having a look” {no harm! Famous last words}. It would at least kill the curiosity and I could possibly find a bargain? Let me just say here that I have no luck, it’s not that I have particularly bad luck, its just that the luck gods always have their backs to me. So the thought of actually finding a actual bargain van that I could afford never occurred to me! No harm right, so I looked, at first a little peek, then I got well and truly stuck down the rabbit hole that is the internet. You know how it is, it draws you in, it’s like a challenge, a battle of wills and you can’t stop until you find exactly what you’re looking for {bloody google}.

In true woman style, I went against all the advice out there because, obviously I know best. . . . . . . . . .and wanted to buy the first van I laid eyes on. There were lots of moments of doubt and the guys at work got my whinging and whining and self doubt full force. Every lunchtime for a week, all we talked about was ‘the van’. I’m sure their encouragement for me to buy it was just to shut me up so we could get our lunch breaks back to normal! They were keen and knew it was a great opportunity, so for once I took their advice and took the scary giant leap of faith. Achieving your goal 18 months before your deadline is definitely a win and one to be dead proud of I reckon. . . . . . . . . Hoorah for the VAN! The luck gods were smiling on me at last, either that or I just didn’t give a flying fuck anymore {see. . . . . midlife, happening right there}. So, thanks to the kindly man at the bank allowing me to ‘recycle’ my money. . . . . . .she was soon parked up on our driveway and I had a big daft grin on my face {that lasted for days}

So for all those who say you can’t find love on Tinder……I kinda did, just not the traditional sort! I fell in love with a Van than came about via Tinder. Proof that Tinder can work out!

fLoReNcE is older than I would’ve liked, but so am I ! She’s loud and chuggy, simple & basic, but the living space is mint. I could now escape reality whenever I felt the need. Weekends climbing hills or roaming endless beaches AND free accommodation. But…….NO SAT NAV! or cup holder…..ffs!! Looks like me getting used to using Google Maps instead, so with a selection of tat from Amazon; phone holder, cables, usb lighter sockets and rather unstable cup holder, problem solved!

She wan’t Florence before me, she was just a big ol’ green van {think scooby doo mystery machine}. But she deserved a name, she was to be my sidekick and sidekicks need a name, I mean ‘Batman and the young dude‘ would’ve never worked. Florence just…..suited her I guess. Anyway, now the real adventures could start, my downtime could be spent planning adventures and studying google earth {anyone else get lost on that app for hours ?} for somewhere to sleep, and my sleep time dreaming of our road trips together. No more school holidays spent twiddling thumbs and redecorating just for the sake of it, going back to work listening to stories of peoples getaways and admitting to doing nothing and feeling totally let down by life.

For the best part of my working life at school I’ve kind of dreaded breaking up for Summer, having nothing to look forward to other than a rest and a lie in, a depressing thought. Don’t get me wrong, I have managed a couple of getaways due to the new lifestyle of ‘living with mom’, but nothing like what I had in mind for Florence and I.

Conscious Change!

I just need to get my sh!t together

2017 and the world, and life were passing me by, and all I was achieving was an extra candle on my bloody birthday cake {fire brigade on standby} and an ever growing list of places I want to go and things I wanted to try………….a list, albeit with no ticks! Most of my reasons for living a static life in the past have been financial; a single wage, rent and bills took most of my money, leaving very little to actually live with. I was surviving, just about head above water, some months better than others. I remember in the early days after my marriage break up, not even having enough money to buy bloody tampax {no pun intended}……period poverty was as real in 2011 as it is now. I cursed those 5 week months! Now I live with my mom, I have financial stability, more disposable income and a way out of the hole I’ve been living in for the best part of forever. Hoorah……I see the light, at friggin last!

Being single, I didn’t have to worry about fitting in with anybody else’s plans. My youngest born is an independent spirit who ping pongs between me and his dad, basically laying his head wherever is most convenient to him. And hats off to him for that, for not feeling like he HAS to share his time! He goes out when he feels like it and stays in when he has nothing else to do, doing god knows what in his room. I barely see him when we are here together other than when he’s hungry, so he probably won’t even notice when I’m not…………….other than I won’t be around to play teenage taxi! There’s buses, oh and legs, he has legs therefore can walk!! Marvelous! For 25 years I’ve been a mom, I know it never stops but for goodness sake there must be some respite? He doesn’t want to hang around with his mom I know I wouldn’t. He has his own groove to find right? Maybe it would be different if he was a girl, but he’s not so……..

So now I’ve justified myself, I can crack on with doing something that will make ME feel like I’m not wasting a life that I have been gifted with.

I thank social media, in particular Instagram, for my need and want to change aspects of my life. I started following the more adventurous folk out there, people who go out and seek adventure, in particular Alistair Humphries. It was the time he was championing the Micro Adventure lifestyle…………an interesting take on escaping the mundane I suppose. So instead of spending weekends prepping for your next working week, get out and explore……..go away, climb a mountain, walk up a hill, find a lake, go wild camping, go jump some waves, go for a big old walk somewhere different. In short, stop finding reasons and making excuses not to do something different. All sounds fine as a single man or if there’s a few close friends who want to join you, but what if you’re a single woman…………………….scary shit huh!


FEAR……..this is the single most powerful feeling that stopped me from pursuing all the things my head tells me I could do. Fear of looking stupid, Fear of feeling alone, Fear of feeling lost, Fear of feeling vulnerable, Fear of what other people think. Fear of it not working out. But like most things, the thought is usually worse than the actual doing! It’s one thing to be independent and crack on with getting your shit together as a singleton, but it’s scary business. As is the thought of spending a couple of days and nights in my own company, with just my head and all those thoughts, brain fart after brain fart interrupting the views…….who needs that!

Don’t believe every worried thought you have. Worried thoughts are notoriously inaccurate

Renee Jain

Get over yourself! What’s the worse that can happen………..you have a shit time……So what, you still did it!

All the beach

And so, I DID IT!

I recently read a great blog post about Fear on Quiet The Hive. Have a read, maybe it will inspire you as it has me! http://quietthehive.com/fear-serves-a-purpose-it-keeps-us-safe/

What stops you from changing aspects of your life? Fear? Finance? Family? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts/stories.