I just tried to go for a walk. My cats had other ideas. First Poppy followed me, miaowing in a most uncharacteristic manner and circling my feet. I figured she was just miffed that I had left without letting her back in the house – so obediently retraced my steps and let her in. At which her brother, Ixxy, came bounding out and proceded to do exactly the same when I set out again. This is not particularly like them. Do they know something I don’t I wonder?
Anyway. I decided to come in and have a cup of coffee instead. I’ll go out in a bit and catch the bus into town. Walking can resume another day.
And it will. The purpose of my walk, as well as just a walk on a nice-ish, warm-ish spring day, was to talk to myself.
Sounds odd perhaps, but I set myself a little mission a while back, to get better at talking. Outloud. I’m fine with written communication – but sometimes I really struggle verbalising orally. It’s like the wiring between brain and mouth is dial up compared to that between brain and hand which is high speed fiberoptic or whatever the latest whizbangery is.
So I try, occasionally to do one of these brain dump type things into the voice recorder on my phone. It’s tremendously difficult. And listening back is excruciating. Why do I sound so posh? And knackered? The microphone picks up every pant and wheeze. I don’t sound healthy.
Of course I’m not really very healthy at all. And therein is another of my many motivations to walk.
Tomorrow is my last day at work.
I took voluntary exit. This is huge. Sixteen and a half years. All manner of stress and torment. Done.
I’m sad it’s ended the way it has. It’s going to be a damp squib – only one or two people left of those I have spent such a chunk of my life with. The service I have worked in and tried to build up and improve over the years as I got more responsibility – well. Good luck to those left behind and now arriving. I have hope but it shouldn’t have been let down so badly. Cuts upon cuts upon cuts – so much skill and knowledge lost.
But that ceases to be my problem tomorrow.
My problem then is me. Sorting out my head, my body, and building up a new life that will bring me more joy than I had before.
I don’t underestimate the task.
Walking threads through it. I’ve long wanted to build up a daily walking habit, but long commutes and working hours have combined with depression and exhaustion to just make it never stick. Well then now is the time to overcome that.
I have all the time in the world. For at least a few months. Which should be enough to build a habit.
Fitness, time to think, to brew ideas, to talk to myself. To feel the breeze on my face, to explore my beautiful home, to listen to the birdsong and the wind, the distant trains and cars. Smell the smells of the countryside, both fragrant and foul. Be inspired, take pictures, paint, write poetry. Remind myself that the world is there, living, breathing, being so much more that what we see in the tellybox. That there is peace and joy among the chaos and the noise.
And somewhere in there I will find the strength I need to make the next however many years better than the last. Not that the last have been bad – but we all deserve better if it is possible.
It’s not about money, or fame, or status. It’s feeling at peace, and that you are doing what you should be doing with your time, not just whatever you ended up doing when your little boat first hit the shore of adulthood.