Waiting – it is ultimately what life is all about

Sun 2 – Sat 8 Aug 2020

So I am waiting for news in the next couple of weeks that will affect the course of my life. And in doing so, I come more and more to the conclusion that life is all about waiting. We are always waiting for something: for a diagnosis, to see if treatment works, to find out if a relationship will work out, to get married, to get divorced, to become pregnant, to retire, to find out if we have a job, etc.

We have no choice

Clock face

I am sure there is some dreadful life guru (isn’t there always?) who would say ‘don’t just wait for life to happen’. But the reality is that life is waiting, albeit with things happening in between and during the waiting. And time is not faster or slower with the waiting, rather time progresses independent of everything and it is just our personal perception of whether things go fast or slow.

Waiting to die πŸ™‚

I increasingly think now that once time has passed that it was time that can never be gotten back. And all the time I am moving to my end point. Perhaps life is just really waiting for the inevitability of death to happen? Some may say that is depressing or morbid, I just think its realistic.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

Helen Keller

Health and Efficiency

Good exercise

Jog-run

Jog-run

My weekly Sunday morning 5K jog-run went ahead. A slower time than of recent: 32 mins and 40 seconds. But I enjoyed the freedom feeling of running as ever. πŸ™‚ I am waiting for things to unfold by the end of the month and then I need to make decisions about how to increase my exercising.

Swimming

swimming pool lanes

Dave has gone back to swimming. I thought about going with him. However, he has a membership and one off visits to his pool cost Β£7 which I think is too much. πŸ™ Plus I genuinely don’t enjoy swimming – I find it so boring just going backwards and forwards in the same pool.

Lots of walking

pair of calves

Did do lots of walking last week including a round trip to the Exchange in Notting Hill (to trade DVDs and browse around), across to Dave’s, and up to the National Gallery. I love walking, it is so therapeutic and a great way to use up time as one is waiting for things to happen. And I continue to use my brilliant new exercise watch to check that I do at least 10,000 footsteps each day.

Weight – some success!

Back down to 13 stone, 7 and a half pounds! πŸ™‚ Going on a diet is effectively waiting for your weight to decrease whilst denying the hunger. The small loss came due to some restrictions on eating as well as increased exercise through the walking. Again, the end of the month will determine how I can approach weight loss better and it’s sort of treading water till then.

INR and new glasses

Back to the doctor’s for my regular blood clotting check. Pretty stable which is good news and no visit now till mid-September. πŸ™‚ Meanwhile, also picked up my new glasses. That wonderful feeling when you put on new glasses and everything suddenly comes into focus. πŸ™‚

Art and Culture

β€œOne ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The National Gallery

Finally, stopped just waiting for something to happen culture-wise and booked for me + Dave to visit the National Gallery. πŸ™‚ Slightly crap queuing system to get in for your booked slot and only half of people inside wearing masks. So glad it became a legal obligation from Saturday.

Surreal art

Beyond the stupidity of people not wearing masks (Don’t like them? Well you are really going to hate being on a ventilator), the gallery was good. Beautiful paintings though in 3 set route to follow and no explanation of the logic behind them. πŸ™ Still a pleasant 90 minutes of pure art though with the obligatory exit through the shop.

Museums and galleries (and airports) need a radical overhaul

Spring - trees in blossom

There is definitely space for someone to do something really radical with the layout of museums and galleries. Similarly to airports, which are all laid out identically with no acknowledgement of nature and the result that you could be anywhere and nowhere at the same time. πŸ™

Reinvention and rebranding is a waste of time and money

One of the best bits was ‘room 32’. The biggest room in the gallery and restored to its original Victorian splendour. The room is lovely with good lighting and air conditioning that is not intrusive. As with many things, one wonders why it was changed in the first place? Perhaps it shows the lack of patience we have with waiting and this crazy insistence on constantly trying to reinvent and rebrand. One of the most stupid features of the modern world: if in doubt, do a transformation (and spend a fortune on it). πŸ™

Books and Reading

Velvet Page Book Club

Velvet page book club

We had the monthly Zoom meet of my LGBTQ+ book club – still can’t meet physically at Waterstone’s in Piccadilly. We talked about ‘Against the Law’ by Peter Wildeblood featured in last week’s blog. We all agreed what a great book this was. πŸ™‚ Written by a man in 1955 who openly acknowledged he was homosexual at a time when it was illegal and he went to prison for this.

Waiting for change

Clearly shaped by the thinking of the time but a brave statement as well as a call for penal reform. Indeed, here was a man just waiting, hoping, and campaigning for the law to change; yet it still took 12 years to partially happen after his book was published. We all wished the book could have been longer but I presume the author was limited in what he could write without incriminating others. πŸ™

β€œDo what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Our next book

On the way to the National Gallery, popped into Waterstone’s to see Chris who works there and runs our group. A lovely guy whose passion for gay literature radiates from him. πŸ™‚ And I bought the book for next month’s meet-up (Thurs 3 Sept), ‘Swimming in the Dark’ by Thomasz Jedrowski.

My current reading book

A nice piece of historical fiction – ‘The Seeker’ by S G MacLean. In dark and stifling Cromwellian London, a government agent tries to solve a mystery whilst doing his job of crushing Cromwell’s opponents. It really does feel like how the Stasi operated in East Germany though I’ve always thought of Cromwell as a ‘good guy’. πŸ™

Personal Development

Languages and book writing

Managed to do some Duolingo language learning everyday for 7 days. πŸ™‚ Back to my 100 day challenge. πŸ™‚ And I’ve been continuing with writing my novel – fun even it will never see the light of day. All fills the time whilst I am waiting for things to happen over the next couple of weeks. And once the waiting is over then I can turn my hand to really planning how I am going to focus on PD and my ‘professional’ future as well as doing more exercise and losing weight again. πŸ™‚

β€œLife isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

George Bernard Shaw

Family and Friends

Mum

More time spent with mum last week. Though she is really suffering from the heat. I wonder what life is like when you are in your 70s or 80s? I hope it is not just like waiting for time to pass with nothing positive to look forward to. πŸ™ Only 20 years and I will find out. I’ll tell you what though, mum does still cook a mean cheese omelette πŸ™‚

Catching up with work colleagues moving on

Had some e-connections with work colleagues this week including several who are moving on. Definitely some people I want to stay connected to and who I have loved working with. πŸ™‚ I suppose when you stop seeing people you know or lose people you regularly inter-act with then it’s a bit like ‘little dying’. One day we will all face big death but before that are loads of instances of things changing that will never be the same again. πŸ™

The Week Ahead

  • More waiting next week as developments are happening and things won’t be clear till the end of the month – thankfully it’s only 3 weeks
  • Looking forward to my Sunday morning jog-run and lots of daily walking
  • Need to think proactively about taking action to lose weight
  • Would really like another physical experience burst of art and culture
  • Will finish ‘The Seeker’ and move onto a new reading book
  • Will also continue doing my daily language learning and consider future personal development goals
  • Spend time supporting mum and I must try harder to catch up with friends

And Finally…

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