Priorities, priorities….

Has anyone forgotten that I’m going to the arctic in February??  Good.  So did I.  OK, so it’s not that I have literally forgotten.  But somehow, it just hasn’t made it on to my list of priorities.

Priorities are funny things.  On the surface, they sound like decisions you make about what is most important to you, what you enjoy most, or how you most want to spend your time.  In reality though, priorities don’t really work like that.  They are imposed upon you by others.  They emanate from decisions made in the past which lead to certain commitments.  They emerge, like ships in the fog, and dominate your entire time horizon before the fog horn has even faded away…

It’s not that I don’t want to prioritise walking.  The long walks I have done with my trekking buddy Olivia, or just myself and my headphones have been nothing but enjoyable.  A real chance to get away from the world.  It’s amazing how, on our (only) 4 hour walk, we managed to talk the whole way.  Maybe it’s not that amazing… I don’t think our husbands would say it is.  My solo walks have given me a chance to listen to podcasts (OK, so they were about work…but I’m the sort of person who finds that relaxing and fascinating), to breathe fresh air, to let the dog run free, and to get home and enjoy the most well-deserved cup of tea and piece of hot buttered vegemite toast… pure delight.

But the walks have been few and far between.  Would you believe that there is a sense of guilt associated with allocating yourself 2-3 hours on a weekend?  Your time should be spent on your kids, your house, the laundry, your work, the cooking.  And that’s before you even introduce yourself again to your husband….

I’m right in the middle of the busiest semester of my …. Well, of my career so far.  The time I don’t spend on my 350+ first year undergrads, I spend on my 18 Masters students… and the time I don’t spend on them, I spend with my kids.  And husband.  And occasionally, I sleep.  I’m not looking for pity, but it is interesting to reflect on priorities.

But the end is in sight!  Both as regards the ridiculous work commitment (just 2 weeks to go!), and the actual departure date – just 10 weeks away.  That leaves plenty of time for dialling up the training, both the long walks and the extreme cold acclimatisation.

Now, if I can just get this 6 week trip to mid-summer Australia out of the way….


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