I could give the excuse that the weather has been so cold and snowy that it not possible to go cycling. I could also say that I have so many projects to do that I need every waking hour to get it out the door. I could even say that when I have a spare moment to spend some energy that I use it chopping much needed fire wood. All of the above are true, but in reality, I'm a fair-weather cyclist. Another few weeks and I'll be tearing off down the lane in my flourescent orange top. Honest.
But that wasn't what I wanted to write about.
It is exactly two years ago to the day that we drove away from a snowy Holland with a trailer full of dreams behind us and an unknown future ahead of us.
Two years ago.
Where did the time go?
Just over two years ago I had completely had it with advertising. It was no longer a challenge, it was a chore. It was not enjoyable trying to run a small agency in a bad economic recession, certainly when after all the hard work there wasn't enough money to go around.
Just over two years ago I told my partners I was to leave the business and start a new life in a new country. Just like that. A luxury situation considering how many poor people are risking and sometimes losing their lives to find a better life in Europe. We are very lucky. Out of the rat race, at a slower pace and on a higher plain.
Two years ago I had no idea how I would make money to survive. Internet has given me the answer. It's funny, because even when I lived in London, (long before people had a computer on their desk let alone internet) I had a vision of a place on this earth where I could happily exist, make a living at something I really enjoyed and no longer have to commute. Not the suburbs of London, or Amsterdam (i.e. close to my work), but in a place of beauty and peace away from all the stress of the 'career world'.
I think I finally achieved that state of mind.
The problem lies in the clients I have who still have to survive the day-to-day grind of economics, deadlines and market shares. I feel myself getting wound up with them as they agonise over details that in the end will most likely never be noticed by their customers. Perhaps we should start relaxation weekends in the country for account managers.
I certainly find that I can help by giving better advice from a distance, than from being too close.
Anyway, Caroline and I have a lot of hard work ahead of us, to make enough money to live a comfortable life and to make our house right, but there is no rush, no deadline. Just more to learn and experience. Rather that, than the same old rush hour to unhappiness every day.
I just plug in my computer and I can 'virtually' be in any city I like. And I still have my Wellington boots on.