A reflective Sunday morning ..

The guests have left the forest already and we are underway getting the cabins ready for our next set of guests arriving this afternoon.

Sunday is always a busy day for us. When I was teaching a Sunday morning was often spent sitting on the settee in my dressing gown with a book and coffee. It was bliss after a long, stressful week. I used to be up at 5.30 am and leave the house at 6 am to be at my desk by 7 am. Most days I was home by 5 or 6 pm but there were many when it was 7 pm when I was coming back in through the door.

The weekend was spent trying to recover to do the same thing again the next week. Sound familiar?

Now a Sunday is all go. The washing machine is on, the tumble dryer is tumbling, Mel and Christine are in the forest scrubbing and cleaning to their immaculate standards and I am catching up with the office tasks and the next load of washing but I am no longer exhausted.

Life has changed dramatically for me in the last few years, but it is a really good change. I have more time to myself, meet lovely people and especially enjoy parts of the job such as writing this blog. Writing is something I have enjoyed since I was at school.

Was it scary to change direction – terrifying!

I had a job I loved (although by the end my body did not love it and I was really unwell which made the decision so much easier), a regular income and a career direction. To give that up to build cabins in the woods with little /no experience in hospitality and no idea if people would embrace our concept was really scary.

After bringing up 2 boys and totally renovating our house over a 12 year period we did not have piles of savings either. We really had to be inventive to gather the funds and it included moving out of our own home and renting it out for a summer. Brian absolutely hated that part – someone else living in his home while he moved around was really challenging for him – understandably so. I, on the other hand, having a nomadic streak, quite enjoyed it. I tried not to show it though!

We then, as you know, had to be very hands-on during the build to further save on costs. When I say there was blood, sweat and tears – there literally was. The freezing cold, sliding in the mud, carrying heavy materials on to site – there were many days it really was not fun. There were of course other days that we laughed all day. Luckily there were more of these.

However here we are with our cabins full, an opportunity for me to write every day, more time to myself than I did when I commuted and worked full time, time to enjoy the forest, the wildlife and my surroundings. I get out on my bike, walk our dog, swim in the lochs and see friends – what a dramatic change of lifestyle.

Why am I being reflective this morning? I was just reading an email from a lady who is desperately unhappy at work and feels she does not have the skills to make any changes. She is stuck on the hamster wheel with children to support and outgoings she needs to meet. She had read part of our story and made contact asking how we had done it.

Here is what I think is important – you may have other ideas.

1. Have a dream – sometimes the ideas are the hardest part.

2. Do your research and see if it is feasible. Write it all down – ideas spark ideas. Plan, plan, plan. “If you do not know where you are going, you will never know when you get there’.

3. Be flexible – sometimes the exact dream just does not work so be willing to adjust it a bit.

4. Surround yourself with people more talented than you are. Listen to their ideas and take their advice.

5. Be tenacious and climb right over the obstacles – there will be so many – just keep plodding on.

6 “Is anyone dead or anyone dying?”. When things go wrong it is always what I measure them against. If you can say no to both then it is just a little bump in the road that needs your attention.

7. Keep smiling and being nice to people – even when they do not deserve it. When you get angry and stressed there is usually only one person who suffers – you.

8. Work really hard at your dream – “the harder you work the luckier you get”.

9. Be grateful and thankful – grateful to your team and thankful you are surviving and evolving.

Enjoy your Sunday and if you need a change – just do it. Life can be very short and it really is not worth spending time being unhappy if you can help it. xI

f you want to read more of our story we have a Dreamcatchers book on our website.