setting fire to my parachute

setting fire to my parachute

How has the first week of the school holidays treated you?  Ours has been filled with loom bands, glow-in the dark glitter glue (not even kidding!), musical bedrooms and burning parachutes.  It’s time for the Little Sister to vacate the nursery, for me to reclaim the office I gave up six years ago and (hopefully) for Bearhands to stop complaining about the amount of stuff on the dining room table.

The Big Sister has to move into the spare room, so the Little Sister can move in to her old digs.  It’s a bit of a mammoth task. Our spare room has become a collection of vacuum storage bags of clothes the kids have grown out of, luggage (where do people store their luggage??) and the carefully packed parachute I stashed there years ago.

When Bearhands and I first moved to the farm, we weren’t married.  In fact, we’d only known each other 20 months!  Bearhands had a clear vision for our future, I took a gamble and chucked in my career to dive into it with him, but I packed my parachute first.  I packed it for any one of several possible events I’d imagine between two and three am:

  1. Bearhands and I split the sheets
  2. Farming wasn’t for us
  3. Farming was for us, but some financial catastrophe befell us.
  4. Bearhands got hurt or worse.

So I carefully packed my parachute in the spare room. Textbooks, coursework, options: all neatly stacked in the cupboard.  But parachutes are bulky and they don’t have indefinite lifespans (particularly the panel of the parachute made up of environmental law).  So this week, I set fire to my parachute.

I burned a plan to conserve an imaginary endangered ant eating lizard and the safety briefing that I designed for snorkel tours of Brampton Island.

I kept the cards that our loved ones sent when the girls were born and my childhood french textbook.

I burned employment offers and a cheery booklet called Am I in Labour?*.

I kept my 21st key and the letter that my Mum wrote when after I’d resigned my career to join Bearhands on the coast.

I burned notes from my criminal intelligence training and gave away my environmental risk management texts.

I kept my official academic transcript and my dog-earred biological dictionary.setting fire to my parachute Collage

My parachute had to go and the realisation that I no longer need it was a really happy one.  I wish I could go back eight years and whisper some steadying words into my own insomniac ear.

It’s freaking awesome to have a life from which you don’t need an exit strategy!

do you have a parachute?
where do you keep your luggage?


*  Should by some miracle, I ever find myself in that situation again, I’ll trust myself to know it!

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  1. 1

    What a BRILLIANT metaphor. You’ve also reminded me I need to do a bit of a clean up around here :)

  2. 2

    Loved this Amanda. I don’t have a parachute, but I sometimes think I’ll jump anyway! 😉 Whenever I feel uncertain I remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and sing Bon Jovi’s Welcome To Wherever You Are. :)

  3. 3

    When you’re entering a risky venture (like starting a new life on the farm) its wise to have a back up plan. But hey you’ve gone and made a success out of it and dont need one anymore. Your bonfire is an awesome celebration.
    I hung on to my one bedroom apartment for a few years after moving in with (and eventually marrying) Dadabs. I guess that was my parachute. I sold it when we bought Chez Abulous. Now I am parachuteless and flying by the seat of my pants 😉

  4. 4

    What a great post lovely. So proud of you. I bet it felt great. Right now I have so much baggage, literally, I must get rid of it! Love that you’re so happy in life right now. See you soon x

  5. 5

    I love that expression: set fire to my parachute. And you actually set fire to the darn stuff too! I’m not sure I have a parachute, at least not one that’s not mental. I’m more of a worry about things after you jump out of the plane kinda girl. The trick is to jump. x

  6. 6

    what a beautiful post!

    And I was only wondering the same thing about our luggage the other day too?! Our spare room is CRAZY at the moment.

  7. 7

    Gorgeous post Amanda! Ironically I’ve spent my life flying by the seat of my pants and have only just realised that I’d like a parachute. 😉

  8. 8

    Sounds great! Bet you are feeling awesome after that!

  9. 9
    Annaleis from Teapots and Tractors says:

    Under the bed with the luggage – thats why I can never buy an ensemble – where would the suitcases go?

    As for parachutes just recently I cleaned out all my teaching resources. I may teach in the future but they are outdated and pretty unnecessary with the online world like it is. It was liberating to get back a cupboard it was being stored in!

  10. 10

    A couple of years ago I let go of my economics text books and after one read of The Contended Little Baby I threw that to the bin. It feels good!

  11. 11

    Nothing like burning your parachute. Great feeling to let go of excess baggage. I’ve only just thrown out the suitcase I got from work when I left 21 years ago to have my son. The zip finally stuffed up. It used to live on top of my wardrobe. :)

  12. 12

    Dave and I did this off sorts back before our first daughter was born. And to be honest, I’m about to do it again soon if everything falls in to place. It’s scary and liberating at the same time!

  13. 13

    I have no idea if I ever had a parachute, and what It is/would be. I’m sure I probably do though. :)
    I love that you burned your parachute, and that you were so liberated by doing so. xx

  14. 14

    I’m making an art of this myself. It’s liberating!

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