M.C. Escher, Eye (seventh and definitive state), mezzotint, October 1946
I know for some of my readers, I’m just a boy and the logic inside me tells me to keep going your doing OK.
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln
Yesterday however I got a real sense of feeling that I’m getting old as I spent the day in the office. It didn’t help that someone in passing said to me you won’t have long to go now. He was talking about early retirement, part of the conversation of him turning 40 the day before, and then weeks earlier having his first child. The person next to him, his manager also within a few weeks of turning 40 and part of my managers leadership team. I looked around in those milliseconds where a response in jest is required. I was the oldest by a good 10 years, motivation shot to pieces and had just been reading about the latest organisation restructures. It included someone I went to lunch with a rough 25 years ago. They were moving on to take a break or so the rhetoric implied.
I responded with some glib remark about having a while yet and that I still need to get the boys off the books and how I’ve still got the mortgage. He was envious that I might escape and he didn’t know I’d be writing about the encounter today. For me I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling about seeing myself in the organisation, the pang of regret that I was stagnating again. It was more the 40 year old beside him, I didn’t know how old he was until then, it didn’t matter until he put a number on it and I’d just seen him as a peer someone who I go into battle with to get things done.
There are more and more moments like this, watching Indiana Jones and the lost ark with my son at the weekend. Harrison Ford was 38 when he made it! Flipping heck, I was barely 10 years old when I saw it and Mr Ford I thought was an old swashbuckler, a professor no less.
With each passing obituary on the news, Sinead O’Connor (56) and the popular British journalist George Alagiah (67) just this week I’m reminded of the seconds counting down. My dad passing at 64 and then my grandad at 98. It’s mind boggling the difference, the lottery and I hope I’m somewhere in the middle.
We have my father-in-law (87) coming over tomorrow, looking for a flat nearby, there has been mention of the big C, possibly manageable. All I can do is provide that shoulder of support to my wife.
It’s not a great post in terms of mood, my thoughts need reframing. 7am, I look out the window, the rain is on…..it’s time to decide, to run or not to run.
So I did run, and the sun came out, I took in the smells, and breathed deeply as the tunes bouncing around from my watch to the headphones (isn’t Bluetooth amazing). I noticed the blackberries are on the way. The elderberries camouflaged in green, fully formed and not quite turned. I wonder could I come back nearer the time with my Tupperware box. I take a different turn than normal for this route. It’s painful there is a dip an up hill, another up hill, it’s my walking route in reverse. A metaphor for rewinding my thinking. To face into the challenge and defy the resistance, to change the route means to change the direction I’m going in and be better. I can run up this hill and I can take on the next challenge, there is time.
The weekend has arrived and we are taking the opportunity to try out a fish restaurant, Fin and Grape (that is new to us) this evening, and a way to close the week. 77 reviews and 5 stars, that is something to get excited about. Will let you know how we get on.
For the cookbook lovers out there I thought I’d share a picture of their cookbook shelves from instagram. Loving the sound of the ‘A very serious cookbook’! I spend the next five minutes looking it up and find it’s the story of some of some of the recipes from Contra and Wildair, Lower East Side tasting restaurant in New York. Something for the bucket list!
I’ve worked through some new recipes to keep the boys happy, taken from a fitness magazine and a library book, needed a little reworking for me, my kitchen. I’ll get them up on Cook One Thing soon:
If you cook one thing then it has to be the Tuscan Style Chicken dish, really worked a treat and kept my seventeen year old you busy for a half hour or so!