*dusts off keyboard*
Why hello there, it’s been a while…
I find myself in a position where free time is suddenly all over the place, a statement which hasn’t been true for a number of months. I made it through my midwifery degree with my sanity more or less intact, a reasonable class of degree and a pocket full of experiences which I will never forget. Bagged myself a swanky job at one of the top hospitals too… very prestigious, definitely a good place to build reputations and forge a path up through the ranks.
The thing is, I also found myself in a position where I just didn’t care. I mean, I cared about the personal relationships with the women I was working with, I remain passionate about women’s health and midwifery, the commute was pretty pleasant, I liked the co-workers who I was meeting every day, I just… didn’t care about the prestigious, or well paid, or opportunities available, and it stopped me dead in my tracks.
Somewhere along the line, my priorities changed when I wasn’t looking. The problem is that now I’ve noticed, the identity which I think of as ‘me’ needs some updating.
I’m having a pseudo Reggie Perrin moment. I’m feeling the need to carpe a very uneventful diem. It’s another sodding midlife crisis. I’m quoting Walden…
“The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. Te be awake is to be alive.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Pompous much? I might as well throw a Sheeple into the mix and be done with it.
There’s something to be said for mindfulness though, for following a path with reason rather than as the course of least resistance. For pausing, whether prompted by deep thought, physical change, or reading someone elses words, pausing and evaluating and thinking and planning. That’s where I find myself now, thinking and planning.
It occurred to me, in the middle of this, that I may be late to the party on this one. Does everyone else identify their driving forces earlier? Is that why there are those who have children at 18, go into the military, actually choose a specific degree with a career in mind rather than something that looks interesting? I suspect so, I think that I’m more than a little bit socially challenged when it comes to life goals and should probably have been in a summer school programme for how to be fulfilled.
Religion, of course, has an answer for this. It’s normally one of the central features of the particular book or creed that the individual flavours work from. A pretty key selling point as far as I can tell. How wonderful if, straight from the get-go, you could be given a set of rules, an indication of what a happy or successful spiritual life looks like, and, to top it all off, the promise of a shiny afterlife as a pay-off for doing as you’re told.
I wish I could get in on that deal., instead, as an atheist, I’m trying to muddle through as best I can and readjusting as I go. Mindfulness meditation is helping with this at the moment. Paying attention is normally a good place to start with most things.
So, yeah… we’re all caught up. I’m planning a year in which I give myself the luxury of time and kindness. A year in which I do what I want to do and live the life I want to, because I can. A whole year of painting and crafts and words and making new homes and quiet weekends just revelling in the company of my loved ones. Concentrating on myself with relaxation and being satisfied with the more than good enough life I find myself living.
Maybe sometimes the best version of you isn’t the one who wants to conquer the world, it’s the one who’s content to live in it.
next time: less pretentious blather, actual topic tackling.