You, Me and Uluru!
My husband celebrated his 40th birthday last year and being an important milestone, I felt compelled to make it even more memorable than usual. And so I asked the fatal question: “What would you like to do for your 40th?” As soon as the question was out of my mouth and I saw the excited sparkle that began in his eyes then quickly animated his face, I knew I was in trouble.
“I want to camp at Ayers Rock!” he enthused, bouncing in his seat like a little boy. In a small hopeful voice, I whispered: “on your own?” and crossed my fingers behind my back, but to no avail. “Don’t be silly!” he practically exploded. “You’re coming with me!” Damn, I thought to myself, but forced my grimace into a smile. He then proceeded to do his “happy dance” (secretly called the “dorky dance” behind his back) and I knew it was a done deal. We were going to the Red Centre and that was that. Woo hoo!
So off I went to organise the kind of adventure that would make his 40th birthday a trip to remember for a lifetime (and hopefully one that wouldn’t make me want to punish him for the rest of his lifetime!). The final itinerary involved us getting on a bus with a load of twenty-something backpackers and driving 1000+km through red desert, stopping only to tackle the grueling 4 hour hikes around the infamous rocky formations along the way in 45-50 degree heat. Was I getting excited yet? Oh yeah…
Well, we were the only Australians on the bus and we were the oldest by at least 10+ years (which for some strange reason meant that everyone felt obliged to clap us when we made it back safely after each walk) but we WERE the party animals on that bus! And I will never forget the feeling of lying in my swag, in the middle of nowhere, comfortably full after a tasty dinner cooked in the camp fire, and looking up at those stars. I have never seen anything like it; it was just amazing! Talk about putting your own personal insignificance into perspective…..the Milky Way at 3am was mind blowing!
And not only was Uluru spectacular in its magnificence and beauty; but it was also one of the most spiritually powerful places I’ve ever visited. Standing at the base and looking up into a sheer face of intense red rock, I could feel the goose bumps crawling up my arms and I knew that I was somewhere special. This sacred place has a compelling story to tell, something bigger than any of us, and it was a privilege to connect with that message and feel it resonate emotionally deep within me.
So, here’s the thing. It’s not that I didn’t want to go to Uluru; I just hadn’t given it any thought and it wasn’t really on my list of “Things to Do”. But you know what? It should have been! Because not only did I get to witness my husband’s pure pleasure and happiness on his 40th birthday, but we both created an amazing memory to add to our journey in life and love, one that I might have missed out on had I chosen to remain safe within my comfort zone.
Not only that, but I’ve also realised that I don’t actually have a list and it’s about time I made one, don’t you think? Because otherwise, life just goes by and before you know it, it’s too late to do those things you’ve been putting aside for “one day”. So from now, I’m going to make every day a day to remember, just in case it happens to be my last. Whether that means creating magic moments with my children, sharing amazing experiences with my husband, enjoying quality time with my Mum, sisters and friends or visiting interesting places in the world, the important thing is that I start doing it right now. What about you?