I am still not running on all cylinders.
I wouldn’t say I am fed up necessarily but I am lacking my usual lust for life.
It wont last, I know that, although I do keep saying “normal service will resume soon” even though I am not entirely sure how ‘soon’ that will be but nothing keeps me down for too long.
I am very fortunate in that way I suppose. I have said before that it takes a lot to knock me over. I am by nature a very happy-go-lucky person, what will be will be unless you decide otherwise.
This week I have been regressing. The easiest way to do this is not with someone dangling a coin across your face and telling you how drowsy you feel but by listening to music.
Music has always been a massive part of my life and if I could go back and change one thing it would be to have continued with my guitar lessons as a teenager. I always fancied being lead guitar in a band but then I always fancied a lot of things and there in lies the problem.
I see absolutely no reason why I can’t be a jet fighter pilot, a marine biologist and lead guitarist in a band all at the same. However, I once felt that no effort should be required on my part to obtain all these fanciful careers I had my eye on and so here I am stuck in my office admin job, well for the next few years at least.
The thing I love most about music is its ability to evoke powerful memories.
My obsession with music started from a very young age. My mother was just 16 when I arrived, which in those days was particularly shocking but she was, thankfully, adamant that she was keeping me and would not be persuaded differently. This meant that we lived at home with my grandparents for some time until she met and later married my father.
After we had moved in to our own home I still spent a lot of time at my grandparents. It just always felt like home. The bond that had clearly been created when I was just a baby just became stronger over time. It was my happy place and remained so until sadly they both passed away when I was in my early twenties.
My Mum has a younger sister who was a young teen then and I remember her listening to all kinds of music, from rock and roll to disco. I was amazed at the time with her record player, which was heavily disguised as a sideboard, as seemed to be the fashion in those days and loved sitting in her room listening to Bye Bye Baby by The Bay City Rollers or Cuba by the Gibson Brothers.
Just like a movie we all have a soundtrack to our life.
A song that reminds us of our first love, a particular friend or a holiday, that moment in time when just hearing the first few beats you are instantly back there, in that moment.
I have gerascophobia (thank you google), a fear of getting old. Yes, I know it is inevitable but that does not mean I should look forward to it and I don’t, I really don’t.
It really does scare me. I am not ready and nor will I ever be. Can you even be jet pilot in your 70’s? How long does it take to train? I must seriously look into this or I am going to die unhappy.
Yesterday on my day off, I politely backed out of a date.
I knew he wasn’t really for me, we met you see on Saturday, albeit briefly but it was long enough to know that I didn’t want to see him again and so it just seemed pointless. However, we had pre-arranged this meeting before Saturday, somehow and he was still keen so I had no choice but to cancel. To be honest we hadn’t even messaged since Saturday so I was surprised when he messaged Tuesday morning to check we were still on. I took the opportunity to explain my lack of feeling and apologise for being so flaky but I would not be following through.
Instead I fired up the lap-top and cranked up the tunes.
In this now very digital world we live in every song is at your fingertips. It is amazing. I sailed through my life in a few short hours, pulling out hilariously funny and sad, often sentimental memories from the back of my mind.
I relived my early clubbing days and my days spent repping abroad with some classic dance tunes. I remembered the first 7″ singles I bought with my then first boyfriend. The days when my best friend and I used to pretend we were Pepsi and Shirley and married to the Kemp brothers from Spandau Ballet. Songs that remind of Tom and Elsie singing in the car. I remembered people and places and moments and I danced and sang as if it was the last time I would be able to.
I didn’t get anything done! I didn’t do the housework or the garden or make that trip to the charity shop and neither did I give a monkeys. I was having a blast.
Back here in 2018 though I feel even more nostalgic than I was before.
Then today at the surgery two things made me both happy and sad at once.
My lovely happy moment came from an 83-year-old lady who had written to tell us of her exciting news.
It is with great pleasure that I write to inform you of my change of address. I shall be moving in with my fiance Mr S at 123 Alphabet Road. Where I hope we will be very happy together.
Best wishes, Mrs B
Oh my God! So do I Mrs B, so do I. It absolutely made my day. Eighty bloody three, there is indeed hope for me yet! 😉 It is Just blooming lovely.
My happiness for Mrs B and her new-found bliss was short-lived when later I spoke to another elderly patient, who is 71 and desperately lonely.
Tearful and upset he had been having thoughts about “ending it all”. With no family and living in sheltered accommodation, the highlight of his day is the carer who comes in at breakfast and dinner time. It is the other end of scale and it is heart wrenchingly sad.
We chatted for a long while on the telephone and he would cry easily. I was happy to chat for as long as it took to lifts his spirits a little bit, I hoped and I reassured him as best as I could from the other end of a telephone but in reality there is nothing we can do for him. Medicine will not cure his loneliness.
I have struggled to stop thinking about him all day and have made a note to call him again in the morning. This is both a need to make sure he is still alive and also an urge to just do the right thing, to care. How can I help him? I don’t know, other than to go round there for a cup of tea and I’m not sure if that is even allowed. If it isn’t it bloody well should be.
You realise how important just having someone to share things with is. It doesn’t really matter who that person is, your Mother, your Brother, a friend or a lover but having someone to turn to is something we all need.
Memories are lovely, they are wonderful things to have, to look back on and without them what would be the point of taking the journey. A photo will never replace the feeling you get from the memory of it, crystal clear in your mind.
In life we rarely appreciate anything until we no longer have it. When we don’t have those people or we can no longer visit those places. Make news friends or see old ones. That is the loneliness of not being able to see each day as a memory.
My fear of old age became a little scarier today because although I love my memories, I want to continue to make many, many more of them. To enjoy everything and grab opportunities whenever they arise.
Therefore I am kicking my own arse, with a steel toe cap.
I still have a soundtrack to finish.