Ok, so I know it's not the end of the year yet but, if I'm perfectly honest, the next couple of weeks are going to be absolutely hectic and I just feel inspired this evening, albeit somewhat fuelled by Marlborough sauvignon blanc and dancing to Peter Gabriel.
This year has had some of the very best moments, but some of the worst too.
Not tragic, not heartbreaking (entirely) but life-changing in more ways than one!
This year has been filled with them.
Firstly, I have to mention being chosen to be an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion, working to inspire people to head out in to the great outdoors. I have loved this, not least because I've met some fantastic people in doing so and been on some super adventures. On top of that, hearing that people have followed my walks, or become more outdoorsy or adventurous due to my posts is just amazing. You are all incredible people and inspire me every day.
Whilst we're on inspiration - this year has been full of it. I've met some people this year who have truly changed my life in more ways than one. The people conquering fears, the people on their first forays in to the outdoors, the people completing huge challenges and the people working to help inspire the young people of the future, the people inspiring some of my most personal blog posts, the people helping me to realise my potential and the people inspiring every other person out there, people who've made me smile for the first time in a long time and people who have let me vent, before giving me a much needed kick in the backside when I was miserable.
I found a new love of cycling and cycled The Trafalgar Way in October, something I've wanted to do since 2005! Thank you to the people who joined me in cycling stages of it, and the people who turned out to meet me at the end, the parents who played support crew deserve a special thanks also, as well as everyone who donated. It really did make a huge difference in helping young people start their Duke of Edinburgh's Award adventure!
I've taken inspiration from everything I can, to the extent that this year I conquered a fear (almost) with rock climbing in Chamonix this summer. Never did I imagine myself climbing at Brevent without having a meltdown. Ok, so there was one moment where I panicked and my guide had to threaten to leave me up there to get me down, but then the next thing I was clambering in and out of crevasses, so...
My blogging has improved. Well, maybe that's not the right word, but it's more regular and I feel more inspired to create and write. I've been fortunate enough to work with some fantastic people and brands this year, and there are still a couple more to come this year! I started this as a hobby, and it's just spiralled. I've also met some fantastic people through The Adventure Crew - check it out!
I've been on aircraft carriers (I know, you're jealous), circumnavigated islands, watched my Bath rugby boys play a lot more, I know what I want to do with my life finally (kind of), I've climbed more mountains and introduced my brother to the summit of Snowdon, been to palaces (thank you), learned new skills and met wonderful people, some of whom are mentioned above. I've learned to stop planning everything in advance, to be more relaxed about where life is going and just take it as it comes (and it's been bloody hard). I've slept in caves in the midst of thunderstorms, fallen in bogs and off my bike, barely slept and you know what? I'd not change any of it.
I've spent the best part of a year fixing my knee with my physio, to bugger my ankle and set myself back a month or two.
I quit a job which I absolutely loved, working with incredible people, purely because the environment was unsustainable and making me ill. I planned to move to France because I wanted to escape everyone and everything (before realising, at the very last moment, classic Kate) that's not really the right reason to rent out your flat and sod off, the problems will still be there when you get back. I was left with no job, thankfully some money and spending a month being told to dumb down my CV if I want a job, or to play down what I'd done previously. It was exhausting and there were plenty of nights spent crying into a glass of wine because I'd 'messed up my life' - believe me...
Now? I'm working in a job I didn't expect to be on, with far less responsibility and far less actual work, on less money, but... I'm not on call every weekend. Swings and roundabouts... Though I'd still go back to that world in a heartbeat. I thrive on pressure and problem solving.
The stalker of the past 6 years was also ongoing, which didn't help matters, but finally (thank you to the police for their tireless efforts) it's over.
Well, I'm looking forward to finding out...
I have some small and some gigantic adventures planned. What are they? Well, you'll have to wait and see, but I'm very excited to share them with you.
As I said, there are a couple more exciting things going on over the next 10 days (other than my birthday), so keep an eye out for those!