Friday, September 22, 2006

Waiting to live ….

Why are you here, why are you reading this. Are you, like me and occasionally feeling like you are waiting to live.

Are you waiting to live seriously? "we'll get married once some complication is removed"
Are you waiting to live trivially? "I'll win the fairtrade raw coffee bean eating competition once I kick my psychologically imagined aversion to caffeine"
Are you waiting to live? "fill in the spaces here yourself"

We all do it. Do the words “I’ll do it, once this computer game, project, this week’s work, this developmental phrase or whatever is over” ring familiar to you?

Recently have you declared:
“Once my partner comes back from abroad, we will stop staying up late watching the crap on cable and go to bed early every night and have sex” or
“Once my period is over, I will stop being grumpy all the time”or“Once my Mother has gone back home, I will stop consoling myself with a pot of ice-cream every night and lose weight” or
”Once I settle in at work, I will embark on a series of training courses to give my brain an outing and some exercise”
“Once this (latest) holiday is over, we will start trying for kids”

If so dear reader, you too have been waiting to live. Eithear seriously or trivially, you decide.

Why do we put off curing bad habits until some seminal event in our lives is completed? The thing is, it is really hard to cure unless you realise it is a problem.

Procrastination only came into being as a word because motivation had not yet been invented.

What if I was killed tomorrow? What if a London no.386 bus knocked me over (not a 54 because they go to Woolwich and who the hell wants to be snuffed out by a Woolwich bus??!)If I was killed tomorrow, I would be well pissed off at the fact I had been waiting to do so much trivial stuff.

Of course, I (we) work very hard for the important things. We work at our marriage; we try to make each other happy. We try to make each other laugh. We work at raising happy children, we work at raising healthy children, we work at raising mannerly children. We work to bring up the children so they do not want for anything, we work to put a warm dry roof over the children’s (and our) heads. For all this work we are rewarded with a rich love life, a comfortable (very messy) home, lovable children, a great wine cellar (hic) and the ability to sleep like the dead at night.

That is not to say that everyone who works at this and does not attain it is unworthy, we are aware that luck (a lot of it) comes into our lives as well.

However there is another side to me that occasionally looks out at the horizon a tad restless and wanting something less rather than more. There is space (if not time) for triviality in my life. All I have to do is slot it into my weekly schedule between 38 hours working, six hours walking to work, 6 hours in the gym, 5 hours housework, 4 hours cooking, 7 hours playing with and reading to the children, 16 minutes making love (showing off, I know) 1 hours shopping, an hour in the coffee shop and the rest of the time conked out …. usually snoring …with my mouth open …and dribble pouring out ……(I’m pure class, me)

Of course there are important things I want to do like instil in the children a love of literature and a sense of independence. I want to progress in my job, being known as a techie female rather than a woman who works in IT. (Some days I am there, some I am not) Travel with my husband to far-flung exotic places where they do not serve rancid fish and mozzie body parts (one of our honeymoon highlights –don’t ask!)I want to take part in a competitive sporting team, drive my children to their sports training over the weekends and keep a smile on my husband’s face.

Catering to my frivolous side, here is a list of trivial completely unimportant things I have not done yet that I would really like to do (in no particular order)
* Climb all the way up to the cab of a skyline crane and look at the view below. I would really like to go in one of the cranes in Docklands I pass them everyday and I am bursting to ‘have a go’
* Lose another 21lbs (36lbs gone to date –yay me!)
* Walk on to a trading room floor to see if it is really as bad as I have been told it is
* Walk into church with my tall handsome son on my arm
* Write a book
* Re-read all the works of Shakespeare
* Run my own pub as a retirement project with wines sourced from our travels and copious amount of good simple foods. Have you ever had butter, onion and chive mashed potatoes with champagne? You don’t know what you are missing. I also recommend bread and butter pudding with a tawny port. Oooooh.
* Run the London marathon
* Walk into church glaring so hard at the tall handsome man my daughter has on her arm that I make his neck go red
* Do a bungee jump
* Have my hair cut as short as a boys
* Walk into B&Q and ask them for their wooden knobs without collapsing laughing
* Go on the window cleaning rigs on one of the Canary Wharf towers
* Learn Spanish just because it is there
* Re-read all the works of PG Wodehouse in sequence of events (rather than random and cronological order which I have already done)
* Get to the point where I can no longer relate to Dorothy Parker but I can write as well as she did. That is never going to happen as phrases like "brevity is the soul of lingerie" are never going to occour to me but I can dream.
* I would like to take up fencing again, I was deadly at it in college and I would love to take it up again. There is something very appealing about masked aggression posing as a discipline.

There are more but these are the main ones. Some to take me out of my comfortable walk to work existence and some to bring me even further back into my past and my comfort zone. I’ll make this pledge now, I know several people who work around London’s Docklands (Hi Peter) and read this blog, so if any of them offer me the opportunity to do anything I’ve said I want to do, then I will do it.

In the meantime, as soon as the kids are a bit older, I’m doing a bungee jump (promise)

Oh and as a consolatory note to those who fear otherwise, I am never going to behave myself!


Beth said...

I know what you mean. I've spent my whole life making idle threats/promises to myself to achieve things. At 26 (after 10 years of being fat) I'm still saying "my life will be so different when I'm thin"! I have read the full works of Shakespeare though (but then I am a Drama teacher).
Beth x

ElizaF said...

Why wait to start your life when you are thin? Perhaps all you will achieve being thin is a lack of energy and a rumbling tummy. Go and live now FFS! :) E.

Violet said...

I also have the problem of deciding to start RIGHT NOW, even when it isn't appropriate. For some reason, I'm most likely to try to get fit when I'm in the middle of having a cold.