If you were 18 and took a GAP year no-one would blink an eye. In fact you would hear “good on you, after all that study, you deserve a break.” Funnily enough when I said I was taking a GAP year at 58 after 41 years of working people were impressed, but confused. “So you’re retiring”, no I can’t afford to do that. “So you’re going to travel” – no, I’d like to but that’s not the purpose of it. “Oh, you’re going to study” – nup, wrong again! GAP is my acronym for Getting Another Perspective. I’ve had a great life, travelled, worked in a variety of industries and jobs (my resume is a little like reading War and Peace), owned small businesses and been able to educate myself simply by saying yes to every opportunity, being passionate about whatever I’m doing and learning from wonderful mentors along the way. I have been married for 36 years and have a husband who is supporting this GAP year without question, have two amazing daughters both successful in their careers with great partners.
So why stop now? I don’t need to ‘find myself’, I’m pretty clear on where I’m at. I’m not going down the Eat, Love, Pray track, so there probably won’t be a best selling movie coming out. In fact, I don’t really know how it will pan out. That’s what makes it so scary and so exciting.
If anyone does read these notes from the GAP year that will be a bonus. If it inspires others who have worked hard over a long time and are still staring down the barrel of working for a lot longer then that will be amazing. And if it gives me another perspective on life and living it to the full then it will have served its purpose.