Sunday, 13 February 2011

Escaping the Rat Race

I have recently received criticism (albeit from a every unreliable source) about the fact that I am doing something for myself and going away for 13 days this year in order to do it.

I train and mostly fund raise whilst my daughter is at school and although I will be away for the time it takes to do the bike ride (for charity) my daughter will be adequately cared for by her other carer, her Dad!!

I am luckier than most in that I don't do 9-5, Monday to Friday thing but I do miss out on sleep on many occasion to be able to work and be there for my daughter and of course we can't jet off here there and everywhere because of money and timing. School holidays are an expensive time to go away and money is tight, as ever but I try my best to make life interesting and exciting.

The reason I'm telling you this? I'm just watching a programme about a man who wants to escape the rat race and go to Alaska to build a log cabin and live in it throughout the winter. He has never been to Alaska, lived in the wild, attended a survival course or been in the army. His training involved writing to Alaskan family and dreaming of building his cabin in the wild.

Sounds great, if a bit bonkers. However, you may be interested to know that he has a wife and two children at home. His wife is wholeheartedly behind him as she is hoping it will get this out of his system and return to normal life and get on with it.

She states she 'knew he wasn't a person who liked to be tied down and had to do this be to able to function' so what happens when he returns home? Should we sacrifice our children's memories of us to be able to function as a human being?

Guy Grieve's experience is somewhat extreme but he states that he is still keen to complete his dream as his step father spent all his life as a good father but doing the 9-5 only to die of cancer before he managed to retire.

Many men have done this kind of thing before in search of self fulfilment. Beck Weathers, Chris Bonnington and Alan Hinkes to name but a few, all left family behind in search of their goal. Alison Hargreaves, a mountaineer from Derbyshire, paid the price and died on K2 leaving behind her young children. Being a Motherless daughter I know how hard that is.

I don't think I could go the extremes Guy has but I have said to my daughter that when she is old enough and has her education sorted I will take her, if she wants to, to do voluntary work in Africa and travel as far and wide as money will allow. Until then I will do things that take me away from her as little as possible but may still require me to venture away from the family home for a few days at a time. I will continue to raise funds for charity as I like doing it and I meet some lovely like minded people through it.

The upshot of the programme is Guy returns early to his family and they move to the Isle of Mull as he is offered a post managing a forest there.

Sometimes we need to do extreme things to realise what we want out of life. Albeit not life threatening things! I hope Guy has found happiness and is more content with his life.


l'optimiste said...

Criticism? ffft - so what? Most criticism arises either from envy, ignorance ot just plain spite. It's not like you're wandering off for a year of self indulgence...what you're doing will help lots of other women survive Stupid Cancer. Research funds are always too low.

Tell the critic [insert rude word of choice before that] that perhaps they should try doing what you're doing - raising a child, running a family, working - and fundraising in your free time..I know it's hard enough for me, and I don't have kids to care for.

Criticise? pah...don't worry about it...anyway, we are going to have some FUN too!! Roll on the fun part!? ;)

purpletrumpet said...

I cannot wait!!! It keeps me going to think of the adventure!! ;0)