Saturday, 19 November 2011

Day 282: Afterthoughts (07/11/2011)

I bashed out a rather trite post a little while ago to wrap up the blog.

To be truthful, the impetus to write about travelling tends to lose something when you start to settle back into the daily routine.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that nothing really happens at home and that all the action is on the open road - or for that matter, the closed one.

Clare sat at my elbow as the cursor hovered over the 'publish' button for Day 271 and suggested that something a little more meaningful might be appropriate for the last day of a long, and possibly a once in a life time experience.

On reflection, nabbing someone else's poem might not be the way that I would have liked to finish this, when looking back on it in 20 years time. So that means that I have to actually think about the way I feel - which, like most men, is not something that I am either very good at or particularly talented at expressing.

Phase one was clearly the angst ridden process of leaving a long time job.

Sometimes - no, always - it takes someone who is one step removed to provide you with an honest assessment of how you are feeling. The answer, from Clare's perspective, was feeling a bit trapped and wondering whether there was something better out there.

Phase two was settling into a routine that didn't involve being woken up by the news on the radio every morning. It sounds like a slacker's life but in fact there was rarely a day when I wasn't in bed by 9pm and out of it before 6.30am - same hours, just slightly rearranged.

Phase three is somehow digesting the new diet of broken routine and a different place every day. It is a process that is still underway, even now that we are back in the UK.

That is because a break is as good as a change. Time away from the coal face has made me realise that I was never chained to the pick and shovel. I just thought I was. Clare learned that lesson a long time ago and has been trying in a variety of ways to impart that learning to me. Sadly, or happily, depending on your point of view, it took me longer than it might have. But that means that the lesson when learned was all the better.

Phase four is what to do with all this new found wisdom. The initial tendency of the newly converted is to get all preachy and try and convince everyone else to see the light. That won't work because everyone finds out things in their own way and what we have done may not be for all. The only thing that I can do is try and hold onto the sense of freedom that the last year has given me, and top up the bottle from time to time.

At the moment I harbour all kinds of crazy ideas about sticking it to the man in a variety of ways but in reality that means nothing and will achieve nothing. Clare is all for channelling this new found energy into something constructive. It may be doing the same thing with a newly rediscovered sense of enthusiasm. It may, on the other hand, be setting up a restaurant serving only Guineau Pig.

I suspect that it will be the former but I will never rule anything out.

And I will never make the mistake of clinging to the rock face when there is a soft landing to be had. 

1 comment:

  1. I think this is an excellent reflection on the whole experience. Having left a secure job to do a history degree and then MA, I can relate to your conclusions. Back being a solicitor, I am sure many people think "what was the point of that?" But in fact, I wouldn't have missed my five years of study for anything. And it has reinvigorated my attitude to the 9-5 routine. Nothing is forever, and letting go is easier than one might think.