Ok, so I didn’t get up until about 12pm. But I thought I’d take advantage of the subdued contemplation that seems to fill the air today, the morning after the night before.
One thing has occurred to me today – something I feel may explain a rather hungry gap inside my psyche – perhaps my dawdling mind’s submission to the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ is something to do with the fact that, for quite a few years now, I have not been very close with my dad.
Dad and I used to do things together. We disassembled and reassembled computers, studying all the parts, we dug and filled ponds (not just with water, but our very own micro-cultures of weeds and wildlife), we trekked up mountains and he’d tell me (sigh-worthy at the time) stories of his favourite memories that had just been jogged, we picked up dead creatures and fungus and inspected them, we discovered. And when I lived with him, he would be there to answer questions. Whenever they came up for me. If he was at work, I’d ask him later. We would always eat together (He was pretty strict on that point, and having been fed up with the autonomy then, it is a habit I now deem worth taking advantage of while you have it in your power to eat together. The phrase “You’ll thank me later” springs to mind, funnily enough, like everything else that is appearing in my life in twos at the moment. Oh, parental clichés.) We would discuss things; something I always found engaging and fruitful until it started to involve my performances. Something a little too personal there. I have never been good at taking criticism and instead tend to defend mercilessly my clearly rough first drafts of anything. If it’s good enough for me, it’s finished and infallible…
Anyway, I believe that I was far more mentally active when I was little. Maybe it changed when my brother came along and my dad had two little minds to fascinate and befriend. Maybe it happened when I moved away from home. Maybe when I finished my education and moved into full-time work. Disillusionment aside, a lot has changed since I was three years old and had time in a day to demand to be thrown in the air and swing between my dad’s legs, to make a painting with some glue and pasta, to trip to the park and get disproportionately jealous of someone else’s Ribena, despite not even liking it, (Sorry, Mum) to get on with climbing trees when older girls were getting bothered about boys, to write down everything I did in that day because it assumed to be worth an illustrated story. To watch and ponder Chorlton and the Wheelies.
I miss these days, but things have changed and they most likely won’t come again. I am going to have to find other ways to re-instill my habits of curiosity and discovery. Time moves on, and whether we’re staggering along behind it or fresh and ready for what’s to come, it’s up to you to keep track of where you are and where you want to be.