If only …

One of our dear friends is in Paris as we write this. She’s never been away from her children for more than a night or two, since her eldest was born, eleven years ago. A few months ago, she saw an amazing travel deal come into her inbox, and said to her husband, on a whim, ‘I should go …’

‘You should go!’  he agreed, and an idea began to take shape. Could she really leave the family and go overseas for nearly three weeks – just her? She’d miss Mother’s Day. And numerous school events. And use up almost all her leave from work. It would be costly. They’d have to sacrifice other things … but wouldn’t it be incredible?

She posted about it in the international Facebook group she’s in for people with a passion for adult colouring in. These women, from vastly different lives, and many different countries, had become close friends over the years, despite none of them ever having met in person. ‘You should all come and meet me in Paris!’ our friend joked.

They took her seriously. This week, she and her colouring in friends from 7 different countries met in Paris. They Face-timed the one person, from the US, who couldn’t be there. Every one of them had made this trip happen, despite the obstacles, the excuses, the competing priorities, the expense and the timing.

Our friend will return home refreshed, inspired and grateful. She’ll be ready to throw herself back into the hum-drum of daily life – stronger and happier because she’s given herself this gift of time, space and new experiences.

It’s your turn!

Download our free template on how you can plan for 12 rejuvenating ‘mini adventures’ that won’t cost you the earth or take up large swathes of time. Download your free copy here.


It can be hard to put yourself back on the priorities list. Even harder to write your name at the top. But your job is not to be a leaning post all the time for everyone around you. Do that relentlessly, and you will eventually fall over. We must make time and create space for things that light us up – that improve our health, lower our stress and inspire us. It need not be an international meet up of friends in Paris, but it does need to be something. And it needs to be something, often.

When is the last time an idea caught your eye, and you thought, ‘if only …’

Emma & Audrey x
About The Author

Emma Grey & Audrey Thomas

Emma Grey is the author of Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum and Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band (a novel that she wrote because her teen daughter hated reading but loved Harry Styles). She writes regularly for Australian and international media and offers practical, realistic solutions to the modern challenge of ‘having it all’. She lives near Canberra, with her teen daughters and little boy. Audrey Thomas is an experienced coach and facilitator, whose corporate career spanned the UK, Europe and North America. She works with people to discover and develop their potential and improve effectiveness and lives in Adelaide with her Welsh husband, Dafydd and their two young sons.

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