“I sought a theme and sought for it in vain, I sought it daily for six weeks or so.”

This yarn I am knitting with… There are no words for how much I am simply adoring it at the moment. I can’t wait to wear it. With all the cricket on tv I’ve managed to power through one sleeve and should get a good way through the other this evening. I’ve ordered an extra ball in a charcoal for stripes on the waist and sleeves in case I run out of my Boheme (I have long arms and a long waist – this could happen). I’m also squishing the Moggy & Me baby alpacky blanket I’ve been knitting for me for an age now and thinking about when I cast it on. I have said before (and many will back me up on this) that things start to change about 6 months before one turns thirty, and then continues with upheaval/epiphanies/resolutions/etc for about 6 months after. Seriously. If you don’t believe me, have a very careful look at the months surrounding a Significant Birthday and tell me I’m wrong.

My six months in either direction saw a great deal of introspection, adventure, and change. And then it all came to a screeching halt and reversed. Now, I’m not going to grumble about that. Yes I am going to grumble about that. Only a bit though. The set backs and reverse have taught me a great many things about myself that I either really didn’t want to know about/pay attention to and showed me that slowing down and being more considered isn’t the end of the world. I’ve quit going backwards and now just appear to be treading water.

It actually feels quite odd. For the first time, I don’t have something major planned for this year (yet). Everything looks good. I haven’t overly broken myself before my half marathon. (I may have broken myself before my ocean swim. Common sense says I’ll be skipping it again this year. This upsets me, but I understand that my shoulder still has a very long way to go).

Saturday was a good day for a paddle around the fountain.
Last Saturday was a good day for a paddle around the fountain.

I had a really lovely discussion with the gorgeous Jules last weekend about this sort of finding who you are at 30 thing. And who we want to be and what we want to do. And how (and this is maybe just something of a female thing) we find ourselves wanting to – and being comfortable in – our own skins. The media, religion, and society have a lot to answer for, but to only feel that you can really comfortably do that without the world judging you when you are no longer in your 20’s, (or Luna Lovegood. I adore that character) is a sad indictment on us all. I’m sure there will be many who disagree with me on this, but those in my social circle of both genders seem to all be on this same wavelength with this. So we’ll leave it at that, shall we?

But anyway, back to this whole finding yourself thing and being comfortable with you. It’s difficult to not bow to peer pressure in some things we do, but she posed the question of why we do things we do. Is it out of passion or a feeling of obligation. How you frame yourself in the scenario dictates how things will act out. (This is a major paraphrase, but I hope she will forgive me that).

But I’ve been thinking about that talk in the context of what we were discussion, and in all that I like to dabble with.

Knitting is an absolute passion of mine. Creation of something with my own to hands. Construction. Building. The joy of creating tactile art – because all knitting is art. Every item is individual, and has a piece of its maker in it. I absolutely adore that about knitting. And this is why I want to learn to crochet as well. Another way to build a better mousetrap. The thought makes me exceedingly happy.

Food is another. And I am afraid I really don’t dabble enough with it. I can talk food, baking, cooking, flavours, methods, etc, until the cows come home, but this year I should really do more than just talk. I love pottering around the kitchen. (Plato, Plotinus and Tolkien would have much to say about me and subcreationism).

Books. Again. I love books. Books make me happy. The only thing about books is I can’t read and knit at the same time. (Audio books really don’t work either).

Water. I am so very, very happy in water. Within sight of water. Within breathing distance of salt air. Sea water cures everything. All stresses. All worries. Carried off with the waves, if only for a short while, then so be it, but during that time you are utterly free. I love swimming, and a really love freediving. But I am not, nor do I intend to be, a competitive freediver. Like all other Type A personalities, I want to push myself. I want to test my limits. I want to see how far I can go. But that’s not why I started this sport. I did it because I love being underwater. The grace of a skillful execution of a stroke and the glide that follows. The serenity of flying. The discipline of training yourself mentally and physically. Of having fun. I do it to work on my technique (something that has seriously suffered since July last year. Need to take the opportunity and mindset to start from scratch. I’ve been too lazy). I do it to be the best that I could be. And so that when I go visit all these places I want to dive, I can do so, and enjoy every single second of it.

From the cafe at they pool where we train. Love it.
From the cafe at they pool where we train. Love it.

Walking. Walking brings a different type of freedom to water. When you hit the zone, everything goes. And it’s exhilarating. You see so much more when you walk. Probably because you have the time to actually see when you are walking as opposed to in some form of vehicle. I lie about big plans. I’m now seriously considering the Camino again. We’ll see. It could just happen. Walking is about introspection as well as the journey you are taking. It’s about awareness and empathy. A good walk is like a good swim – you can finish both with a sense of release and contentment.

Somewhere in Northern Galicia.
Somewhere in Northern Galicia. The road goes ever on and on.

Along with the whole looking after myself this year, and I think there’s going to be a great deal of questioning. Why do I do this. Is it for the right reasons? sort of questions. I don’t do anything I don’t want to do, it’s just whether my choices are healthy. And what I’m doing and what I’ve currently got… I think they are. This makes me happy.

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2 Comments

  1. I loved turning thirty (and, for that matter, forty). No qualms at all. I don’t know if I’d learned this by 30, but growing older = growing wiser (for me, anyway) and meant turning into the sort of person I want to be (it’s an ongoing process…). One of the best journeys there is.

  2. Thirty – I know exactly what you mean. I didn’t really realise it at first but, as I look back, I realise that it was a six month pre and post questioning stage. But I’m glad I’m in my thirties now. I feel happier than I did in my twenties. More in control…not always but stronger. 🙂 Happy belated New Year.

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