Given the latter day fashion for making five and ten year life plans I should hold my hand up and admit to dismissing the whole idea as a load of pointless tosh. In my experience whenever I’ve “planned” to achieve anything life has tossed me a curve ball which has necessitated a total rethink of what I’m about.
However the one thing I do with irritating regularity is to look at where I am and decide it’s a long way off where I’d hoped to be. Which is rather laughable given my admission that I hadn’t “planned” to be anywhere. If I haven’t given thought to what I want to achieve, how do I know I’ve not managed it?
Of course, the answer is quite simple. I’m restless, ergo I can’t be where I’d hoped I’d be even if I had sat down and written a five year plan that undoubtedly would have had my Tesco shopping list scrawled on the back at some point ultimately ending up in the bottom of a shopping bag. Couple that with the fact that I like to adopt an intuitive approach to decision-making and you might see why the wood that is my future can’t be identified for all the trees in its way. If I had written a five year plan you can bet your aspirational values I’d have been scoring it through a fortnight later and re-writing it.
You see … I’m a “live for today” and “by the seat of your pants” kind of girl. I rely too much on what “feels” right. I know what I should do, but my edict is that life is too short so it’s better to wait and see what the universe has to offer before you start determining which route you’re going to travel which may in some far fetched instances necessitate constructing your own motorway (that’s a euphemism for “starting a pension”)
I am by nature a restless soul. If we had met on a cruise liner at in the 1930s almost certainly I would have been the sad woman with the haunted look in her eyes who was seen regularly pacing up and down the deck at 3am in the morning. My mother used to regularly despair of me as a teenager proclaiming with much consistency “the problem with you Deborah is that you’re never happy …”
I understand what my mum was alluding to, but she wasn’t strictly correct. I was happy, indeed I am happy … but I am always looking to break the monotony that everyday life can hold with the occasional stimulating episode (I am talking, of course, of stimulation of the mental type)
It was some eighteen months ago that I packed up all my worldly possessions and bundled them along with my son into a vehicle marked “destination Lincoln (city of my birth)”.
The first few weeks were fine, the novelty remained fresh for some time that my parents were just around the corner. I was back in the bosom of my family. It felt nice, warm and reassuring.
After a few months however I started to crave the dynamic edge that the south-east had frequently volunteered amidst all its stress-laden duplicity. Say what you like, but there is more “happening” at any one time in London than any other city or town in the UK in terms of ideas, creativity, opportunity and vision. There’s also an equal amount of not-so-great attributes, but they have quickly faded from my memory.
Lincoln on the other hand may not display quite the same ebullient verve but it’s where I was born and it is where a goodly part of my family still live. It is full of landmarks, buildings and family memories that in an instant transport me back to being a little girl. And when you’ve been emotionally dehydrated and miles from home, the succour that can bring should never be underestimated.
Only this morning inadvertently I played one of my Grandma’s favourite tracks, The Hungry Years by Neil Sedaka, and I found myself crying for her for the first time since we lost her five years ago. You see, my Grandma was probably the kindest woman I ever met. As her first grandchild she doted on me, I was and will always be “her Debbie”. She only ever looked at me with pride and a smile on her face.
Lincoln is the place where many people I love are, spiritually and physically. It may not be the most exciting and cutting edge of locations I could choose to settle in but it’s home.
And yet I feel I’ve returned back to my birthplace and that now it’s whispering “I raised you .. you were never meant to come back … you were meant to fly away on to something else”.
But just like the dutiful and doting parent I’ve come to regard it as, Lincoln is sticking with me for now.