Sat in Coffee #1 on Wellfield Road, reading the papers with a vanilla latte. This, people, is what weekends are made of. I didn’t go to drums today… a decision made during a post-run mix of Ugly Betty and sofa dozing (haven’t been sleeping very well since Rob went away). I just didn’t want to spend the day rushing around.
When I was younger one of the things most often heard from my mum was “you can’t have it all”. And even though I still think you should try to do things rather than sit on the sofa and let life pass you by (this morning excluded), I have come to agree with her.Trying to have it all can just leave you exhausted and scrambly – not fully able to enjoy each “chunk” because you have so many chunks lined up. “Like butter scraped over too much bread” (my favourite Lord of the Rings quote). You can’t necessarily have it all, and enjoy it all equally, but you can and should have some. It’s not a choice between scrabbling around to fit everything in and doing absolutely nothing. It’s about taking the time to enjoy what you do do.
There’s two reasons I’m actually glad I didn’t go to drums today, as during the “chunk” when I would been practising, I had some news… Fi, one of my oldest and dearest friends got engaged this morning, on top of a mountain in the Alps, and I was there to get her text 🙂 Soo happy for her. Rob (she has a Rob too) is everything she’s ever wanted, and just a lovely guy. I can’t wait to speak to her when she gets back!!
On a personal note – I’m 90% sure I’m on the bridesmaid list… I was as of 2 years ago anyway! (this engagement may have been a long time in the making!). Just got to keep my fingers crossed they’re not planning to tie the knot when we’re travelling.
That’s the second thing – travelling. Sat here, in this coffee shop, wearing my cuddly new jumper (because why not wear it now, instead of “saving” it for something?), I just read something important. Melanie Reid writes a column in the Times weekend magazine. She broke her neck and back in a fall in 2010, and talks about her experiences on her page, “Spinal Column”. It’s honest, inspiring, and never self-deprecating or patronising. It’s brilliant.
This one’s about travelling; her memories of holidays as a child, and how they shaped the places she’s always wanted to go since. And about the impact of her accident on those dreams. “I’d have always gone high, or north, or austere: the Alps, the Rockies… walking, hiking, riding. But now, suddenly, given my accident, it’s all over… They must remain unfulfilled romances. That door has closed.”
Travelling has been on my horizon for many years. I watched a video about the Galapagos Islands in an A-Level geography lesson, and that was it – I realised just how much there is to see in this world. And this is the year I finally feel like it’ll happen. Especially as now, with two close friends’ weddings coming up in the next two years, I’m on the brink of that stage where you can’t choose as much anymore. You suddenly have all these obligations to fill – not that my friends’ weddings are obligations, but you know what I mean – things you have to do and have to be at, that preclude you from jetting off to wherever.
The column ends like this: “If you can, go for it. Don’t put off travelling. Think of all the places you’d love to visit, the activities you’ve always dreamt about trying, and get to it. One after another. As soon as you can. Because if your life was curtailed tomorrow, you may never see them or do them. And believe me, regrets are not good things to have.”
It feels like ten minutes, not six years, since mine and Fi’s 18th birthday party, and now she’s on top of a mountain getting engaged. We’re moving on. It’s important to step back sometimes and take time to enjoy the little things – like coffee on a Saturday afternoon – but also not to put things off. You can say, I’ll do it later, I’ll do it later, then suddenly it is later, and later is too late. Don’t rush through life. It goes fast enough anyway.