Life is a journey, not a destination

From the time we expel our first ear shattering cry a few moments after we are born, until the day we take our last breath, our life is one long and very complicated journey. There is no doubt about it, our destination is already set in stone, as we will all end up in a pine box, six feet beneath the surface of the earth.

Our journey through life will have many twists and turns, as well as a few detours. It will take us to such dizzying heights that are so breathtaking we can only look down and wonder how we will plant our feet back on terra firma.

Then there are the lows in our life travels, the ones that leave us gasping for breath and make us think we are drowning in a world of lies, deceit, hate and misery. We sometimes think we can’t sink any lower, but we are so far from the truth. The lows in our lives go deeper than we can fully understand, or even believe.

In the middle of all of the twists and turns throughout our journey, we come across enough forks in the road to fill an oversized cutlery drawer. These forks offer us the opportunity to take a different path from the one we are traveling. They make us think about what we truly want, need and desire for the next part of life’s journey.

There are no right and wrong directions we take once we hit a fork in life, they are just that. A different direction. A direction that will continue until we are presented with another fork, and another decision to make.

My own journey in life has had twists, turns and a few detours thrown in. It has also included a number of speed humps and some potholes which were deeper than they looked.

The speed humps have certainly rattled my body and given me a decent shakeup. In reality they should have slowed me down and made me proceed with extreme caution. But alas, they jarred my back and sent pain throughout my body. But the slowing down part hasn’t lasted forever.

The most important lesson I learnt from the speed humps was to ensure my suspension should be always be up to scratch. And not let something as small as a hump in my travels stop me from doing what I want in life. Because if i did stop, it would be downhill for the rest of my life’s journey.

As for the potholes I have fallen into, they have done more than buckle a wheel or two, they have sent me into dark places where very little light shone through. And when light managed to circumnavigate the depths of the pothole, it was of very little use.

And with every pothole I hit, I realised how much more time and effort it required to crawl out from. Each one sapping more energy, and seemingly bigger and deeper than the one before.

In the end, it would have been easier to accept the dark depths of the pothole as the last part of the journey and all allow it to be the only presence in my life.

But then, that’s not how I operate and my internal programming is not set to self destruct. I haven’t given up yet and I can’t see that happening during my journey. Each twist, turn, detour, speed hump or pothole gives me another reason to plough through and continue, onwards and upwards.

What do we really want?


When we are youngsters, we somehow seem to know exactly what we want. We know what possessions we want, what friends we want and what pets we want in our homes and our lives

We are so focused we also know what job we want when we grow up. Young boys will want to be a police officer, a fireman, an astronaut or possibly a doctor. As for the young girls, I can only guess they dream of being a teacher, a nurse or perhaps a scientist.

But as we grow older and supposedly wiser after attending school and possibly college, we are out with all the other grownups and may not think that the degree we completed is the career path we want to head down.

In the end, we eventually settle down into a job that does more than pay the bills. It gets us out of the house on a daily basis and makes us productive, no matter what we end up doing.

So, in reality we should be happy. But are we? Having a job and getting paid is a very good thing. Going to work is also a fantastic place to socialise. We make workmates who sometimes become more than that.

Many people head out for drinks and dinner with work colleagues on a Friday night. And then there are the ones who go that one step further and date, and sometimes marry someone they work with.

But in the end, are we truly happy with what we have achieved in our lives?

No one can take away our achievements, so we are the only ones who think we have never done enough. We put ourselves down and think we could have gone that one step better. In sports, work and life.

So this is where we need to give ourselves a pat on the back. We have not only survived, but we have achieved more than what we really know.

Don’t stop believing in yourself, because once you do, the downwards spiral is not far away.

Regrets


As I sat down and had a coffee with my parents recently, my Mother said something I would have never expected to hear from her.

She started talking about the things she would have liked to have done when she and my Dad were younger.

Going back to Italy was one thing she would have liked to have done more often, but there was always something stopping her from getting on a plane and visiting her family. They didn’t make the time and put in the effort that was needed to head back home.

It seems we all have regrets of sorts. Sometimes it’s what we have done or said, and then there are times when we wished we hadn’t done or expressed our feelings to the ones closest to us in our lives.


But no matter which situation we have gone through, we will always have some regrets. There is no magic pill to help us out with our regrets, we need to deal with them head on.

If it’s something we have said, we can always apologise. And if it’s something we have done and have hurt others, do something for them that shows you do care and try to move forward.

Then there are the regrets that linger over us like a dark cloud. They are the ones we need to work on the most.

But as we get older we learn and grow, but that doesn’t mean we have to regret what we did before we learned how to do things differently. If we didn’t go through those experiences, we might not have grown into the strong and knowledgeable people we are today.

Without regrets it may mean we may not be in the place we are now. For better or worse.

Regrets

As I sat down and had a coffee with my parents recently, my Mother said something I would have never expected to hear from her.

She started talking about the things she would have liked to have done when she and my Dad were younger.

Going back to Italy was one thing she would have liked to have done more often, but there was always something stopping her from getting on a plane and visiting her family. They didn’t make the time and put in the effort that was needed to head back home.

It seems we all have regrets of sorts. Sometimes it’s what we have done or said, and then there are times when we wished we hadn’t done or expressed our feelings to the ones closest to us in our lives.

But no matter which situation we have gone through, we will always have some regrets. There is no magic pill to help us out with our regrets, we need to deal with them head on.

If it’s something we have said, we can always apologise. And if it’s something we have done and have hurt others, do something for them that shows you do care and try to move forward.

Then there are the regrets that linger over us like a dark cloud. They are the ones we need to work on the most.

But as we get older we learn and grow, but that doesn’t mean we have to regret what we did before we learned how to do things differently. If we didn’t go through those experiences, we might not have grown into the strong and knowledgeable people we are today.

Without regrets it may mean we may not be in the place we are now. For better or worse.

Lost in your own little world

As I sat on the morning train heading to work, I had a gentleman sit in front of me who had boarded at the same station. As the train continued on towards the city, a few stations further down, the seat next to the gentleman was taken up by a man of a similar age.

ey both had their heads down and were looking at their phones for the next 20 or so minutes. It was then that one of them looked up and to the side and realised he was sitting next to an old mate. The surprise in their voices was genuine and they chatted happily for the remainder of the trip into work.

They didn’t see one another because they were so wrapped up in their own little world, a space where no one is allowed to enter for a certain period of time, and no matter what goes on around them, they are lost in that world.

Being lost in your own world can be a good thing at times, but so many people become entrenched in their little world, and forget to live and interact with others around them in the real world.

The world, or space we go to when we want solitude doesn’t have to be a locked down room, it can be a place in the mind where we find peace and comfort. But, we can’t stay in that world forever, we need to venture out and live life in the real world, communicate with friends, family and lovers.

So when we do come out of our own world we need to make the time and effort to communicate with others around us, at home and at work, or in some rare cases, on the train. And when I say communicate, I do mean face to face. Texting, Facebook, and all the other variants of technology should be placed aside and a real conversation should take place.


Let’s not live and breathe all of our time in our own world, there is so much to see, do, learn and listen to once we step out and really communicate. Don’t be the one to let human communication become extinct.

Sliding Doors

We are all aware of the ‘sliding doors’ scenario. As one opportunity is missed, another one takes its place. Sometimes for better, and other times for the worse. But no matter what choices we make, we will end up where we were meant to be.

This was the case on the day of my cycling accident, it could have ended up much differently had I made other choices on my first 25 kms of the ride.

As I headed towards Safety Beach, I slipped in behind another cyclist who was moving a few kms quicker than my normal pace, but I decided i should try and keep up with him for as long as possible and increase my stamina.

Sitting in his slipstream for 5 or so kms, I thought to myself this could be one of my quicker rides of the year. But as we approached a street heading up towards Arthur’s Seat, he turned into the street and I decided to continue with my original plan and do the hill climb of Arthur’s Seat the next day. Had I followed him, it might have been an entirely different ride, and a possibly a very different outcome to my day.

So I continued on solo for a while before turning back and setting my sights on Point Nepean. 60 kms away with a light headwind and the sun shining in the blue sky. A perfect day for a ride I kept telling myself.


As I looked ahead, I saw the set of lights change to amber, and instead of braking hard, I cruised through and continued on my merry way without a problem.

Looking back at the day, either one of those sliding door moments would have made a huge difference to my unhappy ending. Or would they have made no difference at all?

Would I have been injured on another part of my ride that day? Coming back down Arthur’s Seat at a breakneck speed. Or would have I gotten away without an injury? It’s hard to know which would have been the case, but what happened on that day, happened for a reason.

A reason I’m still unsure about, but one that didn’t leave me lying dead on the side of the road that morning. And for that I’m still very thankful. Even though it’s been a long and tough journey to recovery, I am hoping it will worthwhile in the long run, not just for me, but for my family and friends.

In the end, we will be where we are meant to be, no matter the twists, turns and tumbles we take.

Enjoy the journey with friends, family and loved ones. As the destination has been set. Life is too short for regrets.

Light at the end of the tunnel 


As the days, weeks and months all slowly slipped by, my rehabilitation continued to become more intense as did all my exercise sessions.

With each passing week, I found I was able to move a little easier and my days weren’t filled with pain and my body was recovering. Slowly, but nonetheless recovering.

So as I continued my journey to full recovery, I continued to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. But no matter how much I think I had progressed, the tiny pin prick of a light never seemed to get any bigger.


It was then I was told I should look back through the weeks and months and see how far I had really progressed.

So as I looked back over my shoulder, I could see a tiny light, way back in the distance. It was where my rehabilitation journey had begun. It was just as far as the light in front of me, where I was heading.

The hardest part of any journey is the middle part. You are far enough from your starting point, and just as far from your destination. Frustrating, but you know you are heading in the right direction.


It’s times like these where you need to be a ‘bit of a mongrel’ and attack the last part of the journey with guts and determination. It’s going to be the only way to make it through the tunnel and out to the other side.

I know the my own journey still has a long way to go, but I do know what awaits me when I eventually arrive at my destination.


We all need to set our sights on that pin prick of a light at the end of the tunnel. And we can do that with the help and support from the people around us, who want us to get out of the dark tunnel.