Yesterday I went walking with some friends in the pouring rain.
I realised, halfway through the walk, that I hadn’t been enjoying the countryside at all because I was too busy concentrating on the ground. It was very uneven, boggy as bugger and we were up and down hills all the way. I mustn’t take my eyes off the ground, my brain had been telling me. I might fall!
Suddenly I thought: Who cares? What’s the worst that can happen if I fall in the mud?
When I was ill last year I did waaaaay too much self-protection. I didn’t allow myself to do anything much because I was so scared of the fatigue coming along and punching me in the bollocks. Which was fair enough, to a certain extent, because the fatigue was indescribably savage and I needed to look after myself. But every time I did that; every time I said no to something, or tried to make it as safe and unchallenging as possible, I subconsciously told myself that I was weak, ill, fragile and basically a bit hopeless. I told myself I couldn’t do it and I cut myself off from the life I love.
When I got better I realised that there has been far too much risk-aversion in my life. In spite of my having travelled extensively, lived abroad, undertaken all sorts of dangerous and crazy jobs and generally lived like a wazzock, I’ve still been wasting a lot of time trying to protect myself from being harmed. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Whatever. And while I don’t hold that against myself, I’ve realised that that doesn’t serve me at all.
So yesterday I stopped looking at the muddy ground and instead looked at the countryside around me, which in spite of being pissed on heavily, was beautiful. I didn’t slip once.
The life I love is one in which I fall on my arse in the mud if that’s what’s meant to happen. And if everyone starts laughing at me and I look like a scarecrow then, well, nothing new there really.
Today’s photo is of me dressed as roast dinner. Roast beef round my middle, a headdress of sprouts, earrings of oxo cubes and a finely-crafted necklace of carrot.