Monthly Musing – April 2016 – Keep on walking!
passed her driving test this week. It’s
a milestone in what’s going to be a year of milestones – A Levels, Peru,
university – and she’s very pleased to have ticked this one off the list.
Six months ago,
I couldn’t imagine being driven around in my car by my daughter, and yet that’s
what we’ve been doing for the last month, getting ready for her test. I expected that it would feel strange,
awkward and uncomfortable, but in actual fact it felt fine. I’ve put this down to the fact that I’ve had
since her 17th birthday to get used to the idea that she is driving,
and if her instructor was coming home without any more grey hairs or a panicked
expression then it must all be going well.
Those driving baby steps have got me to the point where I’m comfortable
being a passenger in my own car.
I think this is
how we’re able to cope with most things that aren’t a sudden intrusion on our
lives. It’s a well worn expression these
days, but by taking baby steps we can learn a new skill, live a new way of life
and accept something that is unusual as a regular part of our everyday. We often feel safer if things don’t happen
too quickly, preferring to have time to absorb the changes more slowly until we
realise that we’ve actually taken a huge step from our starting point – and
that feels good. I never thought I would
be ready for big daughter to drive, or go to Peru, or university, but now that
the day it all happens is getting closer and because we’ve had time to prepare for
it, I’m less distraught about the whole idea than I expected to be.
It makes you
realise that we can do anything if we take it just one step at a time. I heard someone say recently that nobody
would be ready to climb Everest tomorrow but everybody could train to climb
Everest tomorrow, and it struck me that his words were very true. The longest journey starts with a single step
and we are all many miles into our journeys now. Sometimes we take detours, sometimes we run
and sometimes we feel that we are stuck in the mud, but for the most part we
keep going forward and the act of metaphorically putting one foot in front of
the other is what helps us to achieve pretty much anything that we put our mind
I know that the
thought of leaving us for a month to travel is quite daunting for big daughter,
but I also know that every time we put something in her rucksack or walk
another mile in training, she’s taking those steps to making it all feel more
natural. By the time she leaves, it will
feel like she had never planned to do anything else. In the meantime though, I might need to hide
my car keys!