As a way of distracting myself from the less appealing aspects of the present, I’m letting my imagination roam in regard to the future – that is, the medium term, after I sell this house and move on. I can’t, for now, contemplate the stress of selling and buying simultaneously, so I’ve been thinking that I’d rent a house for six months or a year, to be able to snap up my dream home when it comes up for sale (we all appreciate this is fantasy, okay? It does no harm to fantasise).
Today, it occurred to me that I might not do that at all. I could put all my furniture in store – an incentive to get rid of anything I don’t really, really want – and buy a camper van and travel round for a while. Or maybe try a houseboat.
I’ve been quite dutiful all my life, probably beyond what was expected of me. I remember a time when my parents were holding a cocktail party, something to do with my father being the chairman of the Education committee on Lowestoft Borough Council. At this sort of event, I usually handed round canapés, refreshed drinks and so on. Shy though I was, I could deal with this sort of practical thing. Anyway, my then boyfriend phoned to ask me out. I apologised, explaining that I was on family duty. Unbelievably, it didn’t even occur to me to ask my mother if I could be excused. Later, after my father died and my mother stood for his place on the council, I used to accompany her to all the main council meetings, not because I was interested but to support her by sitting in the public gallery. Looking back, I can’t think why. I just felt it necessary to be supportive.
Over the years as a governor, on various committees and in a number of supporting roles, I’ve quite often wanted to stand down but not been in a position to do so, at least not until I’ve found a replacement. But, if things go to plan, I’ll be quitting altogether before too long. I reckon that this is my opportunity to stand back and see what I really do want to do for the next few years. To start with, I should let go as much as I can, even if it means living out of a suitcase and packing away material possessions.
As I say, this might not happen. But thinking about it is the first stage of letting go and setting myself free. I dearly love to be spontaneous and the thought of just getting in the driving seat and setting off, or looking for a flight and jetting off abroad at a few days’ notice is an appealing one.