I'm writing this while sitting at the Castle overlooking Budapest enjoying a cold beer in warm spring sunshine.
I've just spent the last 3 days delivering a Leadership training course with a delightful group of people who made me so very welcome and today I get to enjoy a whole day to myself where I can wander & explore this wonderful city.
Sitting here I'm reflecting on the last 12 months of the journey that brought me to this place today.
Exactly one year ago I resigned from a wonderful company and a job that I loved to set up my own company along with a good friend.
A 'brave and wreck-less' move some people said, while others told me to 'Go for it' and 'enjoy the ride' and what a joy ride its been.
- I've learnt that running your own business is more about your own backbone and resilience than forecasts and business plans.
- I've learnt that I am surrounded by the most wonderful people who really want to see me succeed and give boundless encouragement and support.
- I've learnt first hand that when you follow your passion and dreams anything is possible.
Sure, I don't earn what I used to, I don't have the great pension or all the other benefits that went with the corporate life but what I've gained in return is priceless and that is time to appreciate life.
Beer over and I'm about to take time to simply 'smell the flowers' or in this case explore Budapest!
I started my day with a stroll around the Jewish Museum. Maybe not everyone's choice of a fun way to spend a morning but I wanted to get a sense of the city and its recent past.
The tour I took really brought the history of this Jewish community to life. It is staggering to thinks of so many families left scarred from their horrific experiences during Nazi oppression. One community persecuted, marginalized and stripped of dignity because of a religious belief.Here I am, a witness to the reliance and strength that in remembering the past they look to the future and
How can one NOT fail to be moved and humbled standing in front of a display case featuring that hateful Yellow star & stripped uniform of the concentration camps?
I'm sure my experience in the museum had an effect on me as I was compelled to perform little kindnesses throughout the day. If you speak to my husband he would tell you Its not really like me at all. So although these may seem trivial to you, let me tell you they are huge for me.
On the ride up to the castle in the cable car I shared the carriage with a group of 5- 20 something girls obviously on a mid week city break together.
Their chatter and excitement was really infectious and although its not something I would normally do I offered to take a group picture of them. They so appreciated it that they found me later on in the afternoon and wanted to take a picture of me!
I gave up my last currency to a homeless woman on the street, gave up my seat to a couple who looked like they needed to take a rest and finally gave up my city map to a tourist who looked more lost than me!
So finally, this journey which simply started out to set up a new company has in fact set up a new me. I've found a new appreciation for just being in the moment, taking time for me and others. Making the most important learning of all that giving up a bit of oneself feels AMAZING!