“So, what’s stopping you?” A pivotal question for 2019

nyeAt a New Year’s Eve party a group of us were talking about trips taken in 2018 and those scheduled for 2019.

Recently having returned from Scotland, I mentioned that I’d love to live there half the year.

A friend of our host, who I’ve met on a handful of occasions and enjoy talking with, asked me in our small group setting “So, what’s stopping you?”

Six sets of raised eyebrows and questioning eyes turned my way. The question hit me right in the heart, and made a leap to my gut before burning a path to my brain.

What was stopping me?


My first thought was money – but that wasn’t the hurdle that planning and careful action couldn’t overcome.

My second thought, coming lightning fast, after dismissing the first, was more complicated.

What I said was, “My husband works here and I like his company. I don’t want to be that far from him that long.”vm

While it’s theoretically true that I can do my part of the family business, and I can do all of my writing anywhere, the place I most want to do both is at my husband’s side. I DO ENJOY HIS COMPANY.

My answer made the group laugh – I think because of my genuine and sincere expression of friendship for a man who has been in my life more than three decades. (Perhaps it was simply the matter-of-fact way I said it.)

It made me more determined than ever to find a way for both of us to live in Scotland 4-6 months of the year.

The question:”So what’s stopping you?” shifted my view of life and living. It’s a good question, if honestly and sincerely answered. So, I made a list. (For my business and my Scottish cottage)

Some of the items on that list include:

  • Specialized business knowledge: How to create a 501 (c)3 corporation; How to apply for a trademark; How to draft NDA’s & non-compete clauses; How to effectively market, etc.
  • How to manage a website and create content
  • How to draft/draw prototypes

All of these things could be learned. So, until I learn them, they go in the “Slowing Me Down” column. Learn, then, I will.

I love this question and the exercise of evaluating what is actually stopping me.

munroI’d like to climb the Munro’s of Scotland – at least a handful of them.

What’s stopping me?

  • Time and access: Now the only question is how to give myself the time and the financial means for access.
  • Physical demands: This I can change through training, conditioning, and consistent determined action. No one climbs a mountain in a day, but daily training helps many climb mountains.

My determination to climb a series of Munro’s just got more traction by analyzing what currently, temporarily, is stopping me, and knowing how to act to get rid of those impediments or find a way around them.

I am incredibly thankful to have been asked “So, what’s stopping you?” It’s given me better insight into myself AND my characters.

Happy 2019!

May what is temporarily stopping you now become an obstacle you overcome this year.



8 thoughts on ““So, what’s stopping you?” A pivotal question for 2019

    • The question really floored me, Jill. I’m glad I took it seriously and made my list. A good friend once told me, “you never have enough money or time for children or for travel.” Yet still, we manage to raise our children and discover new lands. We’re lucky in that you don’t have to travel far to get a whole new perspective in our country—far being relative, the Tetons are more than 26 hours away by car for me. Toronto, by contrast, is 9-11 hours away, depending on traffic.

      I love to travel. Even the frustrating parts create potential story moments. I hope you get to go everywhere on your travel list. The problem with that is that with each new place you see, your list is bound to grow! 🙂

      Happy New Year, Jill!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I enjoyed your post, Leigh. I hope your list grows and develops into your dream to live part time in Scotland! I’ve always wanted to move to Connecticut, but hubby can’t take the cold and snow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Carol! We’re actively working to make it a reality.

      Hope you can get some extended summertime or early fall time in Connecticut. I bet the leaves are lovely there when they start to change. The things we do for our husbands….grin. It’s pretty darn cold here in the winter too. I get it.

      Happy New Year, Carol!

      Liked by 1 person

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