How long is a year?

25 Oct

Autumn has definitely arrived.  The weather has turned colder and the leaves are turning gold and falling around our feet.  I love this time of year with it’s bonfires, pumpkins,  fireworks, leaf kicking, conkers.  But this year, I have an added fizz of excitement in the pit of my stomach.  Because next Autumn, one day near Halloween and Guy Fawkes night, we will be embarking on our big adventure.  From now on, my head will be filled with thoughts of this time next year.  This time next year, we might be in Disneyland for Halloween, an event I’m sure they celebrate with gusto.  This time next year, we might be watching the natural fireworks of Hawaii’s Volcano National Park, instead of the artificial ones on Clapham Common.  This time next year, we’ll be wearing t-shirts not vests, t-shirts, jumpers and coats.

A year sounds like a long time, but it also sounds like no time at all.  We’re already being sucked into Christmas preparations, with the first request for a nativity costume coming home this week. (A Scottish outfit, preferably a kilt.  I’m not aware of many Scots being present at the birth of Jesus, but no doubt all will become clear.  Possibly.)

After Christmas come the slow, cold months of late Winter which always take an agonisingly long time to segue into Spring.  “This time next year, this time next year” I will repeat to myself, dreaming of the hot, dry oven that is the Australian outback and the steamy jungles of South East Asia.

Once Spring arrives we will start our preparations in earnest.  Lists that have been circling in my head for years, will become items on a proper paper list, waiting to be ticked off one-by-one as we move through the unpredictable British summer.  “This time next year”, I will think on chilly, rainy days, when you never wear quite enough clothes to keep you warm.

When the children break up for the summer holidays, I will no longer be thinking “this time next year”, as our departure date looms in weeks rather than months.  No doubt my to do list will seem to grow and grow, however many items are crossed off every day, and the prospect of ever finishing the list will seem an impossibility.  Time will be racing ahead of me and I’ll wish it would slow down.

When the children return to school next September we’ll be in the final stretch, applying for last minute visas, booking accommodation for our first few weeks, saying our goodbyes to friends and family, panicking about whether we are doing the right thing.

Then ‘this time next year’ will arrive and the moment I’ve dreamed of and planned for will arrive.  This time next year, we’ll pack our bags and get on a plane and our adventure will begin.

How long is a year?  My guess is not very long.

This post was inspired by Mara at Mother of All Trips ‘Monday’s are for dreaming’.

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3 Responses to “How long is a year?”

  1. laura Driver 26/10/2009 at 9:10 am #

    I’m sure it will fly by.

    I can’t wait to read about your adventures.

  2. Carolina 27/10/2009 at 1:37 am #

    With kids, a year is not long at all.

  3. Mara 27/10/2009 at 2:05 am #

    Having spent 13 months on the road with my child, I can tell you it goes by so fast! I’m very excited for you. I love that you are enjoying the planning as much as the going.

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