Tuesday 22 January 2013

How to be happy

Goal setting: life planning. Does it work?

I was going to write something about my goals and dreams because it’s a New Year. I worked through a great workbook from Elinor Wilde theWorking Mums Coach, about how to find the pause button, because there never seems to be enough time in my life. I also enjoyed an hour alone with a glass of wine and the Unravelling Workbook from Susanna Conway. I thought I needed to redefine my dreams and work out another action plan towards my goals. I thought I wasn’t doing well enough in my business and that I could rearrange things so that I was working more efficiently and providing a better service. I’ve become attracted to goal setting and affirmations and vision boards and training for entrepreneurs and mumpreneurs. But is that really who I am?

I want to be happy, but I am never truly happy these days. I am always planning something, goal setting or analysing something.  

I feel I should be writing about narrowboat life; how hard it’s been in the snow. How the diesel stove packed up this week and my husband spent hours taking it apart and chipping coke from the insides. How I took the boat to the water point yesterday, reversing through frozen plates of floating ice, only to find the tap is still frozen.

I could describe the relief and happiness I felt when we bought a small portable butane heater; or the tears I cried at 5.30am on the front deck last week. I was up early to go to the Boatshed conference in London when the propane ran out. While my family slept I used a mallet to free the gas spanner from the frozen front deck. I tried and failed to change the gas bottle and crouched in the soft, silent snow on the front deck in the deep, icy, darkness crying real hot tears. I just wanted my family to be warm when they woke up, and for my husband to be able to easily make a cup of tea. I was not sure that boat life is still for me.

I moved onto a boat in my late twenties when life was an adventure lived mostly in pubs, and no children depended on me.

I feel I ‘should’  be writing about narrowboat life on this blog, but I want to write about my own life; about my choices and trials and tribulations: And the elusive search for happiness.

For some reason, turning 40 recently has made me feel like very soon, I am going to figure everything out! When I do, I will let you know the answers. 


Sarahmumof3 said...

oh Peggy, you know reading this does make it seem like I am living some sort of strange opposite yet parrelle life to you, I have the house, yet long for a free boat life, I have a blog about me, but not sure what to write there anymore, I really and want to plan and set and achieve so much more, but never really seem to get things down on paper. I wonder if having a firm action, goal, dream and achieveing that would give me the motivation to write on my blog about that, ie if i did get to live aboard I could fill the pages with how it is to live THAT dream.. Everything changes and we have to flow with it, I hope you find the answers to you goals, I think so many things but I never seem to ever actually DO them... maybe 2013 is the year of change for everyone? Change is never bad, its just different xxxx

Narrowboat Wife said...

I think sometimes we set ourselves too many goals and it's better to just focus on one at a time. We just have to figure out which is the most important dream/goal?!

With your blog I think write about yourself, your thoughts, plans and doubts. Write whatever interests you and be true to yourself. Of course I'm better at giving this advice than taking it! ;-)

Sarahmumof3 said...

its difficult isn't it to follow advice, I think I know what I want to do, or should do, but doing it is a different matter completely! :)

Narrowboat Wife said...

Ah so your intuition knows the answer but something is stopping you? Now you just have to sort out the thing(s) that's stopping you! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Canada!

Hi Peggy. I simply love your blog and really look forward to getting it in my email. I live a totally land-locked life (even tho I can see the ocean)in an apartment in a beautiful city in the Maritimes. I long/dream/wish to live in the UK on a boat like you, living your lifestyle (even with all it's challanges). You are living the life I'd like to have. I love being around water and I think I need the community that you speak of in the narrowboat lifestyle. I love the freedom of it all.

Do you think it's a lifestyle a retired, healthy 60 year old could do on her own? Although, you're considerably younger than me, I would appreciate your imput and your knowledge since this is your life.

Thank you so much.

Narrowboat Wife said...

Hi India,

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment on my blog! Lovely to think of you over there in Canada following my stories. Certainly my lifestyle is actually quite popular with retired, healthy people over here. It is more common to find retired couples than singles cruising, but you would meet English couples and ones from abroad who have decided to spend their retirement exploring the UK in this way. The advantage of being retired is you would not need a home mooring and could travel and see a lot of the country at a slow pace, meeting people as you go. If you are an adventurous personality it would suit you. You will find other boaters quite friendly. Do you have the Boatshed free eBook I wrote about living on a boat?


Narrowboat Wife said...

India - check out this lady. 86 and decided to live on a boat! http://livingonanarrowboat.co.uk/forum/living-on-a-narrowboat/my-new-life/