Fairly Normal Human
Once upon a time I used to think I was a special snowflake, and completely different to everyone else. As I am growing older I am realising that actually, I am one of a great herd of similar human beings and we all follow social, cultural and biological patterns that we share with everyone else around us. Paul and I took the girls camping for a few days at the ridiculously picturesque Liffey Falls here in northern Tasmania. There were maybe 70 people strewn around the campground along the river, and we all turned up at the one toilet at exactly the same time, every single time.
Right after Christmas I had a sudden urge to clear out clutter, and turned up at the op-shop drop off point with approximately ten carloads of fellow citizens who had exactly the same idea at the same time. And even though I pretend that random dates like January 1 don't affect me at all, I have so far in 2019 been unable to resist making plans and resolutions for the new year. I daresay if you were to meet me now and again at the end of the year, you wouldn't even recognise me, I would be so improved! I will be so much more thrifty, less wasteful, slimmer, healthier. My house will be calm and uncluttered. Maybe even clean. I will never use another piece of plastic ever again. My garden will be bursting with picturesque goodness. I will be so much more accomplished. I will have magically learnt to speak French. I will have finished my novel. Goodness, I can't think how it is that I even came to be sitting down, and clearly this is my last cup of tea for 2019.
In actual fact though, Day 10 of the brand new year finds me just pottering through life in my usual muddle. I decluttered four bags of opshop detritus that has been sitting in my bedroom for months, then I stopped. I cleaned two shelves of the fridge, then stopped. I have been painting my study and inadvertently traipsing paint all over the house on the soles of my feet, so then I have to stop painting and clean the floors instead. I run errands, buy groceries, drive Posy because she has Places To Be, and today I started work again, which means money, hurrah, but time slipping away through my fingers..
And again, like every person of a certain age everywhere in every generation I start asking myself, "Where does the time go? Where has it gone? How exactly do I seize the day, instead of letting it seize me, which is how it feels at the end of many of my days.."
I don't have any answers, by the way, just thought I would share the questions.
I am staring out of my dining room window at the beautiful golden evening light right now. One part of my brain is preparing to present to me the very long list of productive activities I could be undertaking right this very minute. Another part of me is saying, "Sit a minute and admire how the day lillies are glowing in the sunlight." And I am glad I did because here I am seven minutes later and the sun has gone from the lillies and who knows when they will be so beautiful again?
The wonderful thing, though, about being middle-aged, is that although I have realised that I am not a special snowflake, I really don't mind, as once I would have. I really rather enjoy being a fairly normal human.