Thursday, 7 May 2009

Not quite how I thought I would feel

We are back from our journey. JP has gone back to Glasgow to work and I am here in the flat, listening to the high school students outside yelling at each other on their way back to classes after a lunch break spent scarfing bacon rolls, chips and bottles of Irn Bru (Scotland holds the unfortunate title of having the highest rate of heart disease in Europe).

It was a great trip with some truly horrific weather. JP has given me permission to post the video footage of him dragging our sodden tent out of the flooded gulley, where the gale had eventually dropped it after we abandoned the nylon hut for the safety of the car. Stay tuned for that little gem, which has yet to be downloaded.

The wee caterpillar above demonstrates my current mood. I am in that dumbstruck phase that moves in after a long-awaited event has come to an end, and you can't quite understand how all that time went by, just like that. I still have a few more days before I have to go back to work, but already I feel it looming like a cloud of awkwardness.

Maybe it's because I'm now officially 34. Big 35 next year - half way to 40. The whole idea has me feeling down, and I need something to perk me up. Each year I challenge myself to do as many new things as my age dictates. It is one way for me to keep feeling as if I am expanding, changing, moving forward.

Here I am, at the start of a new year. I need ideas. What can I do this year that will blow last year out of the water? More specifically - what can I do with limited funds? What would you do if you wanted to give yourself a series of good, strong, positive shocks? What class would you take? What experience would you seek? Remember, I have already tried Balkan dancing. Overall, far too much bouncing.

I am taking myself to the cinema to see Werner Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World. But before I go, here is a picture of the most excellent chariot, which saw us safely over many narrow and windy roads in the Highlands. Take a bow, Christine, Queen of the Fiats.


nervous bear said...

Erm... 20 was half-way to 40. 35 is half-way to 70. I hope this makes you feel better! (And yes, we both know I knew what you meant...)

Dale said...

Sorry, don't expect a lot of sympathy about turning 35 from someone my age :-)

But -- to unbend a little -- it has been marvelous, getting older. Each decade far far better than the last. Even physically: as I've learned to look after myself properly, I've felt better, healthier, stronger, more flexible and resilient, with every passing decade. (It helps that I was completely unfit and sedentary in my twenties: there was nowhere to go but up.)

But mostly, of course, mentally. I just care less and less about what people think, or what I'm going to achieve. I used to fret all the time about whether I was good enough. I don't now. I'll have to do, that's all. And the world just keeps getting more beautiful, with every passing year. People have become kinder. The world I live in is so much gentler than the world I lived in twenty years ago.

Cheryl said...

I remember how turning 30 seemed like a good reason to fall into a nice little depression for a several months, and how reluctant I became to tell anyone my age. Now, I'm like, 30? What was the big deal?

It's funny how life markers make us feel. But maybe it's a good thing because it makes us question the route we've taken, and, if necessary, make changes.

But I really like your idea of challenging yourself to make this year blow the last out of the water. Suggestions: an acting class, a super tough math or history class (just to exercise your brain), the resolution to do a small and anonymous favor for a stranger each and every day, the resolution to try each and every pastry/dessert place in Edinburgh then review them...

PurestGreen said...

Thank you, nervous bear. I'm so sorry I missed may 4th this year - you'll have to get me twice next year.

Thanks Dale. Once I train myself to let go of expectations, I will be a lot happier.

And thanks also Cheryl. I hadn't thought of an acting class, but the idea has made me look up the storytelling centre again, as I have told myself for a couple of years to get more involved and learn how it's done. Also, I have surprised myself by reading up on scuba diving lessons. We shall see.


The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

You are one cool caterpillar, Chickadee!
Soon, you will become a butterfly! :-)
Have you ever thought of writing a novel? Or a memoir?

Marcheline said...

My thought:

Stop planning and start living by the seat of your pants. The great things that happen will be a wonderful surprise, and anything that doesn't happen isn't a letdown because it was never an expectation.

In my book, plans are just so much pressure. When you've got your head buried in a map, you miss the sunset.

- M

Anonymous said...

butcher now carries Irn heart disease here we come!

Sarsparilla said...

There's a cool scuba outfit in northern Skye! That's a great idea.

Happy Birthday. I recommend learning spanish or Chinese, see how the other thirds of the globe communicate.