I’ve missed over a week of blog post updates. According to the Lore Of The Net, a blog which doesn’t keep to its schedule will lose all readers and shrivel up in a dank corner.
I’m not going to apologise. I’m going to talk about priorities.
I was waiting in a bus queue yesterday. The woman behind me was jabbering into her phone, always a good source of inspiration.
“I was running all over the field, trying to get a signal,” she said. “I needed to get the football results for Wigan. Well, you can’t put your life on hold just because you’re camping, can you?”
I suppose it depends on what you define as “life”. And no, I’m not about to descend into bashing some person who is passionate about football – for I do believe it’s important to be passionate about something, and football is as good as anything (save us from apathy and inertia: that’s the killer). But I did think about “camping” being seen more as “life on hold.”
What is life, when you get down to fundamentals? Eating, sleeping, moving, not moving, relating to others, excreting, crying, laughing. When I’m camping, I’m doing all of those things (not necessarily at the same time.) I’m more alive when all else is stripped away. When I’m commuting by bus or stuck in an office then it can feel as if life is on hold, waiting for when I’m back in nature or on my bike or with my partner.
Of course the wonderful zen-like ideal would be to feel present and alive in all moments, even the queue at Tesco. This rarely happens to me.
I was camping this weekend, and taking part in a historical re-enactment. Then we got a phone call. The kind of phone call you never want to receive. We packed up early and returned home, and have spent the week in a sleepless daze. It was the death of my husband’s oldest friend; he was best man at our wedding, the anniversary of which was a few days ago. Death is the inevitable consequence of being alive, and life was not on hold, camping or not: we came home.
I had a deadline for an article for a county magazine, but luckily I’d filed it early. Other work issues loomed, and I had to prioritise. The weekly releases at loveyoudivine go out on a Friday, and the authors promote to their given date – it had to be done, whether I needed sleep or not. But other things were put aside. Non-essential emails have been ignored. The ironing mountain is now so huge that there is snow at the peak. This blog, as you know, was left to languish. Some things are not important.
I’d been pondering buying a road bike for some months. I found a Dawes tourer in a local bike shop and went back to look at it on Wednesday. I stood there, unsure. The shop assistant said, “Well, you only live once.”
And I thought of our friend. And pressed my debit card into the assistant’s hand, and walked away with a brand new bike.
Priorities? If I don’t update this blog on Monday, it’s because I’m out on my new bike…