The Next Chapter

We have nearly been here a year. I can’t believe how fast this time has gone. In the moment, some parts seemed to drag, these were usually difficult times and mainly in the winter. Those moments when you naturally think ‘why me’, ‘give us a break’ and ‘what the hell have we done’. These moments felt like the earth had swallowed us up whole and ‘it’ was waited to see how we would respond. We have definitely been challenged on our journey so far and overall, I feel we have survived. Not only survived, we have become more resourceful, learnt to truly appreciate the basic things in life and not fear failure. Failure isn’t the ‘dead end’ I once viewed it to be, it’s an opportunity to learn and discover something new, something better. I once felt a failure in my past life as a nurse in the UK, being overwhelmed with high caseloads, unachievable targets, stress and anxiety; these were a sure sign of failure to me then. Now, I see that difficult time as the opportunity to learn more about myself and discover something new. It wasn’t a ‘dead end’, it was the doorway to something better.

Here we are, about to start up our Alpaca Experience on the farm. We had no previous experience with farming, no previous experience with alpacas, no previous experience with starting up a business or being self-employed and we didn’t know anyone in the Republic of Ireland. Google is a wonderful thing. The amount of times I’ve googled my way out or into something is unreal. “Google, how do I fix a frozen pipe?”, “Google, how do I make a compost toilet?” and “Google, how do you harness train an alpaca?” are just a few. So, the love of getting back to the basics in life is something I treasure but I must salute technology for what it is. I am sure the Oughterard library, although well stocked, wouldn’t have had the literature I was looking for at hand.

People are amazing though aren’t they. I once felt that I couldn’t ask for help as this would show weakness. Even though I ‘helped’ people in my profession, I struggled with this myself. The people in the local community here have been so supportive of us. I mean, granted, they probably think we are a bit crazy. Fair play to them, they probably are a little right. This hasn’t stopped them helping us though. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness at all, it’s a sign that you want to learn, move on from this stumbling block and progress. There’s something special in helping each other when it goes both ways.

So, the next chapter of our life is about to begin. Some negative thoughts still pop up in my mind like, what if people don’t like it and what if people expect more. However, I’ve learnt not to get hung up about this stuff. I can’t control those things but I can take pleasure in the moments that do go well. I simply just have to stop and compare my life to a year ago and that is all……

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