I hate it when people drop out. I like stories of tenacity and rigour; people who keep going, face adversity, come out the other side. I apply this in most things, disregarding that to drop out isn’t always a drop, it can be a gentle slide, a rational and considered shift; the right thing to do. I found out today that one of my colleagues on my Masters has deferred for a year; he was not able to finish his draft in time, like I did. This makes me so sad as he was great to have around and I have come to associate his writing journey with my writing journey. But equally I can see – as in I am grown up enough to appreciate – that this was necessary for him. His reasons are important and the decision not taken lightly and deep down I kinda knew he wasn’t in it like the rest of us, who were literally giddy with the fact that we’d finished.
I am always the one who is sad when people leave. I like everything to stay the same. But then I see that it’s all part of the fullness of life and leaving is as vital as staying.
There have been a raft of parental decisions lately, easy ones and really hard ones, some of which leave me reeling with the possibilities after. I so want to get it right. I am the ultimate second-guesser so once I make a decision I have been known to stick by it even when I know I need not and conversely to go back on my word, even when that feels like sacrilege! It’s not easy this parenting business. No one ever said it was. I can boil it down to caring too much about outcomes. I tell myself daily: let it go. But I never really truly feel that. Surely that’s the definition of tenacity and rigour? Making peace.
I do yoga with friends once a week and after we go to a local garden centre for a coffee. It’s just the place that is nearest and we refer to it as ‘the old lady place’ as it’s full of grey-haired ladies who have cups of tea and buy bedding plants for their gardens. This week as we arrived there was a coach-load of old ladies arriving and I shamefully sprinted ahead to get the front of the coffee queue. They must have looked at me and thought what? That I am nuts? That they wish they could still run like me? That my generation are always rushing? As we stood, my friends and I, discussing how challenging the yoga class had been, one of the ladies interrupted and said she’d been eavesdropping and wasn’t it interesting? She said that she’d been a fan of Pilates back in the day. I smiled at her and thought that she might have done what I do and rushed around fretting about her kids and whether she should have let her daughter go to a party or whether her son would have a bad day at school because he’d fallen out with a peer.
I suppose what I am saying is we all squirrel away, working at whatever we work at and trying to go the distance. And I am now in danger of being steeped in existential angst. I’ve said before that having an occupation is all – not necessarily a paid one – but a thing to do, an activity to draw on that bolsters the everyday. Something to occupy the mind.
Case in point: a mere few weeks ago I was riding high on the success of finishing my draft. I’d spent months writing and editing and thinking about it and was ready for a break. I have since spent weeks just chilling out, hanging about the house, catching up on ‘stuff’. Now – well now I am bored again. The old feelings of quietness and loneliness are creeping back I note. I feel like I need to nip them in the bud! So I am going to look at writing some essays from the themes I’ve covered on the blog – you know the existential angst I am talking about; motherhood, parenting, love, friends, outfits, work, home…
The summary point is, you have to do what you think is right for you. That’s all.