Have I Wasted this Year?

Emily Woodhouse Living Adventurously

This year has absolutely not gone to plan. Nor has the dust completely settled yet. But here I am lying on a bed in my living room, surrounded by piles of boxes, listening to the July rain drumming on the roof. I’ve alluded to it a little bit in previous posts, but since that was back in March (!) it’s worth an update: my year was derailed in January. At the very end of last month, I bought a house.

Prefer audio? Listen to this blog post instead…

This was not something I was expecting to do in 2021 – never mind for the next few years. But sometimes life throws plans out of the window. In January, my landlady said she wanted the house back. With the sheer number of people trying to move to Devon and Cornwall (local news said 200 applicants on average for every rental), it was impossible to rent. My options were pack everything up and live out a tent, or buy a house. I only managed the latter by the skin of my teeth. As glamourous as living out a tent sounds, it’s hard to keep a job down and difficult to keep your books dry.

Anyway, I will have a full rollercoaster ride story for you in the near future. Because although it’s not a usual sort of “adventure”, it’s certainly been my adventure of 2021. It’s been stressful and horrible to live through, but if the story can entertain even one person, then it will have been worth it. Watch this space for my own version of the Series of Unfortunate Events when I’ve got far enough out of it to make it funny.

If you’re too curious to wait, I gave my Adventure Squad a little update recently and spoke to Catie Friend of the Chatting to a Friend Podcast about it. I’m not sure if she left it in, but listening back to a podcast episode I was in is too cringe for me to handle. Sorry!

It’s nearly my birthday

I’m turning 28 very soon. When I realised, my first reaction was: oh, damn. What a waste of 27. I haven’t done anything this year except stress about adult things. I haven’t been anywhere. All my trips and events have been cancelled. All my plans turned to nothing. My to do list is full of crosses and postponement. What rubbish. And to top it off, I’m not a fan of even numbers (especially not ones divisible by 4) and 27 was an odd cube! What a shame to have missed it. (Many people smile like I’m slightly nuts when I describe numbers like this. If that’s you, feel free to metaphorically pat me on the head and say, “yes dear”. It makes sense to me.)

But then I thought, what have I done since last July? Well, I completed a Guinness World Record breaking expedition and got it verified. I published a book. I lost my job and got it back again. I lost my house and bought a house. I wrote for two newspapers online and a handful of adventure publications. I had a fun if unsuccessful crack at the Dartmoor Way. I went bivvying for the first time (in the snow) and lots of local walks and… hang on Emily you definitely have done something.

Many of the big things in that list are the fruits of hard work done in the year before. So I need to remind myself that all the things I’m slogging away at now aren’t worthless. They just haven’t reached gold star status yet. Like the year and a bit I’ve spent reinventing Intrepid Magazine in the wake of the pandemic. Like the several other projects I’m not quite ready to tell you about just yet. Not because it’s a huge secret, just there’s nothing to say yet. And of course, all the writing I’ve been doing on my next book. Just because I’ve consistently missed every self imposed deadline doesn’t mean I haven’t achieved anything. My standards are just too high sometimes (or my resolve too weak, depending on how self-depreciating a mood I’m feeling in that day).

So you’ll be posting again…?

Yes. I’ve restarted twice this year, but yes. I have every intention to start talking to you again as regularly as once a week if I can. Because actually, I have so much to say. When I’m not posting, I’ve still got an ideas list growing and growing in the back of my planner. So it’s time to get some of that out of the drafts page and published. For example, I want to tell you all about the process of self publishing a book and what it was like for me. I want to tell you about bits of other adventures that never made it into a story yet (like my last day in Spain). Plus all the things I learnt last year about freelancing. And the behind the scenes of what’s happening with Intrepid.

I can’t say that I feel like the chaos is over yet. Certainly not. But just maybe I’ll have enough headspace to get back to writing and posting and into the rhythm of it all. Or perhaps the universe will send another punch and knock me over again. I’m not sure, but I’ll give it a shot.

And that’s all I’ve got to say for now. Cross your fingers and toes for another post next Monday and we’ll see… Now I’m off to unpack some more boxes and clean the disgusting kitchen I’ve moved in to.