It’s been too long since we’ve just picked up and gone for a drive out of Sydney. Not because we haven’t wanted to but more so because it’s just been difficult to.
I spent most of 2014 pregnant (well 9 months + 11 days to be exact…it really did feel like a whole year). The last time I had been pregnant was eight years prior, so it really felt like my first time all over again, except ten times worse. I was constantly tired and sleepy. There was the persistent heartburn, the nausea, the ‘morning’ sickness that lasted all day long and a crazy, unnatural obsession with all things oranges! On top of that I spent the whole time asking myself the same questions over and over… Was I crazy? What had I done? Did I make the right decision? Did I really want to go back to nappy changing and sleepless nights!?
Baby is now 8 months old and yep even though I was reminded very quickly that the nappy changing, sleepless nights and now teething are not fun at all, I’ve tried not to let it get me down. And really I can’t deny, everything else about having him around has been such a joy … a very busy, ‘controlled chaos’ kind of joy! How could his cuteness overload not be?
So, anyway, up until now, a road trip, even a short one has not been on our raider.
Having the opportunity to test drive the new Ford Everest (as part of the Kidspot Ford Thinking) has I guess motivated us to get out. We are planning a longer trip down south, but until then we thought, while testing out our new ride we’d test out our current patience and survival ratings as well, with a shorter trip.
Our drive took us to Bulli (a suburb at the northern end of Wollongong), about an hours drive from Sydney. Using the Everest’s SYNC 2 voice control feature we set our Navigation to guide us to the picturesque Sublime Point Lookout. It really is such a great feature to be able to tell your car what to do without having to touch a button – not just the navigation, but setting the temperature or calling a number stored in your phone’s contacts too.
The noise cancellation technology also adds to the extra comfy drive. That coupled with the beyond spectacular scenery helped take my focus off the enormous height we were at. The green of the rainforest in the distance, the deep blue of the majestic ocean that seamlessly connected with the sky above, the rockery, the beaches and the ever so breathtaking Sea Cliff Bridge (which is 41m at it’s highest point… yep I anxiously researched to confirm it’d be quite the drop!).
“Just focus on the striking landscape,” I kept reminding myself, as we parked our Ford Everest at the Lookout to really stop and take in Wollongong’s beautiful coastline. Now I not only panic for myself, but my kids too, which isn’t ideal. This ever-present fear of heights is a goal I’d like to conquer one day, because last thing I would want is for my kids to pick it up, but it’s just been easier to sweep it under a rug rather than deal with it head on.
I guess sometimes it’s the goal that appears to be ‘far too high’ (no pun intended) and way out of reach that stumps our growth. Fittingly, I thought I’d share with you the above excerpt (“Yesterday I climbed a Mountain..”) that over the years, since I was made aware of it via an ex-colleague, has become one of my favourite reference points in life. Initially written about a man’s climb to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, you really can relate this ‘climb’ to life in general. I think for many of us, when things get too difficult – whether it may be fear of heights, work, family, having a baby – our initial instinct (and easier option) is to not try, give up or let go.
I spent most of my teaching career listening to and watching teenage students do just that. They either set a goal, find it’s too hard to achieve and give up; OR, they constantly state “I can’t…!”
I often advised students to always try their best, to think big, to dream big, to reach for the stars but at the same time plan their steps with short and then long-term goals. Even though this is what I was advising, in the background, I often found myself doing the exact opposite…throw in the towel, without even giving it a red hot go.
At times when I need to be motivated, I read over this passage and bring to mind that reaching that peak, that goal, isn’t meant to be easy. I remind myself to take one step at a time and it’s okay ‘to stop and rest every now and then.’
There’s no doubt that this can get tiresome. Sometimes you get so far off the path and it gets so hard or your goal just seems unattainable that you lose sight of where you were heading. It is at times like this that you need to find and ‘surround yourself in light’ – whatever and wherever that may be. Amongst family, friends, work, a hobby, outdoors, on a road trip or some other adventure.
As I look over this truly ‘sublime’ landscape… I try not to let my fear take over.
I just keep reminding myself…
‘All will be well if you trust.’
As a Top 3 Finalist in Kidspot’s Voices of 2015 I have been given the opportunity to participate in the #FordThinking challenge, sponsored by Ford Australia. As part of the challenge I get to test drive Ford’s brand new Everest for 6 weeks and blog about my experience. This is Blog 2 of 3 posts.
Thanks for coming along on this ride with me!