30 before 30?

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In just 13 days I’ll be hitting a milestone birthday – I’ll be leaving my twenties and beginning my early thirties. A few years ago as 28 and 29 hit and 30 became ever closer I really felt like it would be a ‘big deal’. I made a list of thirty things I wanted to do before my birthday. I even had a neat little poster made up with visuals of my favourites that I could cross off when I completed them. I had a lot of plans for where I wanted my life to go. 

As life turns out,  some of those things didn’t happen. I don’t feel at all sad though because it became less important as I got closer and closer to that big birthday! 

The past few years have been incredible. I have done things and experienced things that I could never have dreamt up to put on that list. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed in my life. I have met amazing people who I feel so honoured to be able to call friends. I have been to amazing places and seen incredible things. I have had amazing and unique experiences. 

So, as I reach my 30th – I’m not sad that I didn’t achieve some things on an arbitrary check list. I’m excited. Excited for the future, to find out what chapter is next for me. I might give up on planning – it seems that going with the flow has given me so much more than I could have ever planned. 

Scout Moot Iceland 2017

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In just 24 days I’ll be proudly stood at Heathrow airport in my Girl Guiding uniform with my international neckerchief – along with hundreds of young adults and volunteers. We’ll be making our way to Iceland to take part in the International Scout Moot 2017.  

Moot is a gathering of Scouts and Guides from all of the world. They come together to have a unique set of experiences and challenges. There are physical adventures like hiking and climbing, as well as cultural and educational experiences. I am so excited to get to be part of something like this. Girl Guiding has provided me with fantastic experiences throughout my life, and I can not wait for this adventure too. 

I’ll be part of the International Service Team. We are a group of people older than the participants who will be there to help make the event run – providing support and services. As International Service Team, it’s definitely not going to be a holiday. Volunteers are expected and required to work hard to make the event a great success for the participants. There is always a real sense of team bonding and camaraderie at these events, with everyone pulling together to ‘make it happen’.

It’s definitely not going to be all work though. I’ll also be getting the opportunity to visit the Blue Lagoon, go on a horse back Lava ride and do the Golden Circle tour. Not to mention travelling around the country and visit different sites! 

 

The theme of the moot is Change.  There are so many ways to think about change – 

  • Dealing with changes you decide to make (such as moving home) 
  • Dealing with changes that are forced upon you (such as losing a job)
  • Influencing others to change (such as for them to be more environment)
  • Making a change easier for others to deal with (such as requiring staff to do things differently

For some people, the idea of change is a negative thing and for some people change is a hugely exciting and positive thing.

 

Overall, I’m so excited to be attending Moot – and so grateful to Girl Guiding UK and The Scout Association for these amazing opportunities. I can’t wait to meet so many new people all coming together for a common cause. 

A Book Review! – Big Little Lies

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I was delighted to receive Big Little Lies as part of a wonderful gift from a brilliant Santa as part of The Reddit Gifts Book Exchange. I love taking part in these exchanges – I love the thrill of carefully finding something you think your randomly assigned giftee would like and hopefully seeing how much they enjoyed receiving that gift. Of course, there’s the receiving part too, I’ve received some lovely gifts in the exchanges I’ve taken part in –  The inexhaustible generosity and kindness of wonderful strangers will never cease to amaze me. The selection of books I got from the 2017 Reddit Gifts Book Exchange were definitely some of the best gifts I have received in all of the exchanges I’ve done. The wonderful Santa went to great lengths to find books that matched and pushed my favourite genres. I’ve committed to reading each and every one (there were seven!).

The first book that I hungrily consumed – Big Little Lies.

 

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies has had some buzz about it lately – having just been made into a HBO mini-series. The plot centres around a group of parents in Australia whose children are all just about to start at the local Kindergarden – and the trials and drama that comes with this. Of course, there’s also Murder. What good mystery isn’t centered around a good ol’ murder?

As someone without children, I was worried about how I would relate to these parental woes. However, I found their problems, often humorous, were very relatable and the characters, for all their quirks, were very enjoyable to read about. The first thing you find out is that someone has died and they are treating as murder, though interestingly the ‘who died’ is as much of a mystery as the ‘who did it’. I enjoyed the way the book progressed and the format. You first see the world through the eyes of the main characters – the action as it happened. Then you read the words of the minor characters who live in the world around these people – and their understanding of events – usually what they’ve heard through gossip or rumour. It’s interesting to see how their perception is often far from the reality.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Despite the situation being something I have no experience with, I found the characters easy to relate to and enjoyed following their stories.

 

SPOILERS BELOW!!!! 

The thing I love about this book is that it’s ultimately a very powerful story about domestic abuse. The extent of which the story is about the domestic abuse isn’t something that is fully revealed until the end. Celeste’s compelling story on the abuse is something that really grows with her and ultimately you. As she begins to reveal to you what is happening to her – it’s shared as a small thing with all these justifications as to why things are ‘okay’. Then as it progresses, you begin to see the stark reality and seriousness of the situation. It is her story line, and actions of Perry that eventually bring everything full circle.