Camino: You are always on my mind…

You may have noticed another hiatus in this blog…there haven’t been so many new posts recently.

I admit it: I’ve badly neglected this blog, despite my best efforts to post often. True, I changed jobs and moved house in the last year and those things had a big impact on my availability…but not as big an impact as the arrival of “Small Baba” in my life.

A-ha! 

The *real* reason for my neglect these past few months!

People say that changing job, moving house, and having a baby are among life’s major stressors. I remember reading that they were in the Top 5. They may even be in the Top 3 list of life stresses. I’ve experienced all three in a 12-month period. Life has been so busy and unexpected that I often haven’t had the time to reflect on how it’s progressing. The landscape keeps changing and I just keep going. Years from now, I’ll probably look back at this time as somewhat insane. For now, I just keep plugging away as best I can, surfacing for air every once in a while.

Small Baba has proven to be the ultimate distraction. I anticipate an hour of quiet so I flip open the laptop lid and press the power button…only to get called away by the squeaks and squeals of this new little person needing my attention.

Writing anything – even a shopping list – is a big ask sometimes!

That said, I find myself thinking about camino every day. I find myself reflecting on camino-themed blog posts in my mind. I keep thinking of parallels between my camino experience and my daily life, and I keep thinking of material for new posts. Camino is always on my mind, hovering close to the surface.

These days, I’m continually reminded of how walking camino and caring for a small person are similar in ways: both feel like marathons, not sprints.

  • Pacing oneself is important.
  • Setting realistic expectations is important.
  • Celebrating the successes, however small, is important.

There were days on camino when my body felt so impossibly sore and tired that I couldn’t fathom how to keep going. With hundreds of kilometers stretching out in front of me, I wondered whether I had the stamina or resources to make it all the way to Santiago. Sometimes the challenge felt too huge to really comprehend. Sometimes Santiago felt like a mirage – one I couldn’t quite rely on.

I did the only thing I could do: I took it one day at a time. I left my hostels every morning, sore, stiff, and tired from a night of snoring roommates, and I put one foot in front of the other. I tried not to think too much about the aches and pains. Instead, I thought about the hot coffee awaiting me in the next village. I thought about the warm sun behind me, browning the backs of my legs. I thought about all the things that were working in my favour. And I prayed for everything I would need to keep going. Walking 800km all at once doesn’t happen in one day or in one week – the trail is too long for that. My mind struggled to understand what 800km really meant. The only thing I could do was take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and leave the rest up to the heavens.

Life with Small Baba is different but not dissimilar. Anything can happen. Plans change quickly and unexpectedly so sometimes it’s better to have a flexible aspiration for the day instead of a plan. That way, when the day goes better/worse than expected, there’s less upset about the plan working/not working.

My camino was a lot like that.

And everything I learned about myself on camino is standing to me now. All those noisy hostels, all those humbling aches, all those hours alone to reflect and reassess my life. I didn’t walk camino to “find myself” but I came home knowing and understanding myself on a whole new level. I came home knowing, and I mean *really knowing* that I am strong. I came home knowing that big things are possible when they’re broken down into smaller, manageable chunks. And I learned that there is a time for everything…so it’s okay to take the time and space, and just let the journey unfold.

There are lots of things I want to say about camino. There are photos and memories to be shared, and conversations yet to be had. If you can be patient with my comings and goings, I’d like to think that I will translate some of these thoughts and insights into written word over time.

And I’d like if you could stick around to read the words and tell me what you think.

In the meantime, there are squeaks and squeals to tend to, and a new journey unfolding before me every day. For all of us, January is over but the year is still young. Go gently. Pace yourself. Take it one day at a time. And celebrate the successes, however small they may be – they will give you the strength you need to go further, go higher, and go deeper.

We will all get there, wherever “there” is. Just give it some time.

 

 

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Camino: You are always on my mind…

  1. Congratulations!!

    Wonderful news!

    Remember it feels interminable but actually passes in a flash!!

    Remember to enjoy.

    Have fun

    Beverley xx

    On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 5:45 PM, Gers Camino Blog – Camino de Santiago wrote:

    > Geraldine posted: “You may have noticed another hiatus in this > blog…there haven’t been so many new posts recently. I admit it: I’ve > badly neglected this post, despite my best efforts to post often. True, I > changed jobs and moved house in the last year and those things ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It goes in a flash. My son is now 17. I miss him as a little baba. It felt like he took such a long time to grow up, and suddenly he’s grown up. Age past 12 is the fastest! Congratulations on your bubby.

    On your point of getting there eventually, this is so true. Everyone wants to get there now. Impatience and frustration is high. Ironically, the problem is they don’t know where there is.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations Ger! We are so happy for you. Kevin and Liz had informed us of the new arrival but it was great to read about her in your journal. Dave and I are planning to walk from LePuy to SJPP in May/June of this year. We are looking forward to it…somehow knowing it will be easier, just because we know we can do it – as you say, one day at a time. Love and prayers to you and yours.
    Barb and Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “And I’d like if you could stick around to read the words and tell me what you think.”

    Umm… YES!! The Camino is life. Anything you have to say about it illuminates the journey we’re all on together across this big, blue marble.

    Congratulations on your little one. I can’t wait to see you and meet her when I pass through on my way back from the Camino. Anticipate lots of good conversations, shared parallels, and me changing nappies while you and Himself get some QT together.

    So much love!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Ger, Enjoyed that read, good you prepared yourself well for this new adventure I would imagine there’s a lot more satisfaction on this part of the journey.

    How’s Husband doing I hope he’s surviving it well (he dosent have your Camino stamina) but am sure he’s there for you both every step of the way.

    We think of you three often and hope you are all settling into your new routine and enjoying parenthood.

    Love to you all Ruth & T

    P.s. We did not get to Sarria last year stopped 14 miles short so go back again in June and really looking forward to the walk into Santiago…

    Ruth

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Ruth!
    Handsome Husband is doing well, thanks!
    I hope your camino preparations are going well. I would only love to be back on the trail but with a Small Baba in the mix, it’s not the most feasible right now. Still, I’ll be thinking fondly of it while you walk into Santiago and complete your journey. Buen Camino to you guys!

    Like

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