Okay, I wasn’t just taking a digital holiday. I was having a holiday holiday as well. I have just spent the last month travelling from Perth to Darwin (nearly 10,000 kilometres) and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.
The holiday tested me on many levels, pushing me to, and beyond, my limits. I swam with whalesharks, I clawed my way through the ravines of Karijini National park, and I sat up front in a helicopter with no doors and an amazing view of the Bungle Bungles.
I also showered in hostels where I had to wash the ants down the drain before I could get in, I used public toilets where the stench of rotting faeces came over to hug you before you even opened the door, and I ate off dishes washed in cold water. I think my gut flora were tested too.
I met lovely people. I saw beautiful, and terrifying, and wonderful things. I ticked items off my bucket list. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
But I am back to reality now. Work, cold, housework. All things that I could forget about for a while. So, over the next few weeks I’m going to share some of my trip with you in the hopes that it will inspire you to get away. I think we could all use a break from reality sometimes.
Here are some snaps from Rottnest Island, a 90-minute ferry ride from Perth, Western Australia.
This week I’ve not managed a lot of writing, so I thought I’d give you a blast from the past instead of authorial words of wisdom. About ten years ago I won a balloon ride at a work Christmas function. Although I was a little bit terrified, I did it, and it was AMAZING.
In early October I started getting a visitor in my garden; a bald baby crow. Still hurting from the loss of the Gardner, I didn’t want to get too close. But with his daily visits, and watching him grow, I couldn’t help but be drawn in. I noticed that other baby crows in the area looked normal, so why was this crow bald?
When I Googled ‘bald baby crow’ I got nothing besides a UK site which suggested my crow had mites and was likely to die. Given that Adelaide crows are not actually crows, but ravens, and they are nothing like the evil-sounding birds I’ve seen in the northern hemisphere, I decided to ignore their I predictions of doom.
His parents didn’t seem fussed and he seemed to be thriving in all other ways, so I decided to document his growth. Below, for anyone else who has a bald baby crow in their backyard, I want to give you hope that your bald baby crow can grow into a healthy, feathered crow (or raven):
First photo – sorry, this was taken on my phone, so not terribly close or clear. When he first arrived his legs were naked as well. By the time I got this picture he had feathers on his legs and a dark patch on the top of his head.
Now I’ve got the SLR out, so you can see him a bit better. The dark patch on his head has definitely turned into feathers.
SLR + Zoom. The feathers are growing, but his ears are still very exposed.
Above and below – left and right side; his ears are now covered and just a small patch of feathers coming in on his throat hint that anything was ever not normal
So now the little bald baby crow is not bald, not a baby and apparently not even a crow. He’s now a fine-feathered raven.
With the New Year on the horizon a lot of us will be setting (or meticulously honing) our goals for the next year. As an avid goal setter, I would like to share one piece of advice for when you are setting your ‘achievable’ goals and that is make sure you understand future you.
Time and time again when I set my goals I seem to believe that future me will be somehow more motivated, dedicated and un-distractible than current me. For example; my list for what I wanted to achieve with my week off between Christmas and New Year gave me three tasks to complete on Boxing day, one of which was ‘paint deck’. By the time I had scrubbed the deck, and painted just the outside fence part it was 7pm and I was exhausted.
Current me stupidly took time off for meal breaks, phone calls and sun exposure which future me apparently would have worked through. Current me also only works at a human pace, while future me gets no muscle aches, hand cramps or frustration at having to save so many bugs.
The point is, you should factor in a lot of contingency in your plan. I’m already looking at my list of what I want to achieve in January and it is looking very full. At the same time I know that I have an event on every weekend, not to mention visitors to catch up with, so the *future me* alarm is starting to ring.
So if you suffer from a bit of future me, my advice is take your list and halve it. It will always feel much better to achieve MORE than you set for yourself rather than less. I’m going to take my own advice and put the red pen to my current list, and hopefully I’ll get the deck finished before I go back to work.