The trip gift.

I’m being given the gift of a trip. For when I turn 40. Which isn’t soon, but soon enough. It’s the kind of gift that people never expect to fall into their laps. But it is happening to little ole me.


I get to pick a place in the world, anywhere in this wonderful, beautiful world we live in, and I have a bit of flexibility in what time of the year to go, and to celebrate my birthday, my brother is taking me, to my chosen destination.

Gobsmacking stuff, right?


My kids think I’m a little crazy that I don’t have a set place to go to yet.

You see there’s a lot to consider. This is my one big chance to go wherever. Wherever.

For a mere day I toyed with the idea of choosing something radical like signing my brother and I up for a half marathon in some amazing historical city like Prague (and yep, a marathon is held there, I got as far as googling it). But who am I kidding? I can’t even run to the corner and while a challenge would be good for me, I’m not that gal that needs to prove herself through that kinda challenge. If I say that three times fast then I may begin to believe it.

I’ve also thought about doing something adventurous like climbing something…..or cycling something….but that’s not really my cup of tea.

The fact that it’s my brother and I on this trip is neat. I like him a lot. My brother. And not just cos he’s uber generous. But it also rules out a few destinations that would be what my romantic self would prefer to go to with my Spunky Hunk.

I’m also taking into consideration that I have coeliac disease and really don’t want to be in a foreign country and be hungry the whole time, because of the food limitations. A hungry Fiona would all too quickly become hangry.

So yeah. I’m thinking practically. But I’m also trying to engage a part of my  brain that hasn’t been used in a while. That part of me that allows herself to dream.

Yeah dream.

I think that somehow, somewhere, in amongst the demands and expectations of everyday, normal life, the ability to dream has somehow, somewhere leaked out of me. How about you? When was the last time you had a dream about something you wanted to do, something you desired to be? Something just for you. Not for your spouse/ partner/children/ siblings/ family/ friends. But you.

The book club that I’m part of is reading Bill Hybel’s book ‘simplify’ at the moment. The book looks at ten practices to unclutter your soul. I think most people these days are over scheduled, exhausted and overwhelmed at times. If any of those words are niggling away at your conscience , then I recommend giving this book a go.

Last night the chapter we looked at was talking about harnessing your calendar’s power, of how a calendar can be the primary tool for helping you become who you want to become. Hybels gives examples of people who by prioritising something enough to make room in their calendar for it, were able to make drastic changes to their lives. ‘If you start by plugging in the time slots on your calendar that determine who you want to become – and then fill in the other stuff around it, you’ll gradually become the kind of person you want to be’.

John Grisham was an attorney until he put the word ‘write’ into his calendar.

What’s your word?

What have you forgotten about, or put aside, in the hustle and bustle of life? What word have you left on the train, a by-product of your daily commute? Has your word been left on your baby’s change table? Is it in the pile of newsletters and communiques that you’re quietly ignoring weeding through?  Is your word stuck in your car, because you’re in and out of that vehicle all day, between the demands of your job, and maybe caring for elderly parents?

Maybe it is time to pick up that word, from wherever in your world you’ve cast it to, and it is time to remember what that word stirs in your soul.

I’m pretty sure my word for the moment is ‘dream’. To take some time out from the demands of raising a young family, to forget about the restrictions of budgets and schedules, and to relearn how to dream. And I’m hoping that with that, will come a very strong desire in my mind for a destination for this trip of a lifetime.

My fortieth is going to be epic, wherever I end  up going, whatever I end up doing, but the journey I’m taking in getting there, is maybe worth as much as the trip itself. This rekindled ability to dream. That’s kinda priceless.