Had lots of time for thinking today - not always a good thing for me as I begin to feel like my brain is fried and then I go off onto all sorts of random directions.
I am currently involved in a project at work that requires regular trips to London for meetings and today was one of Those. I don't mind it overly - although it ends up being a long day, I've always loved going on the train so I still get a bit excited about the journey.
It has to be said, not nearly as excited as the party of year 4 school children (what's that? about 9 or 10 yr olds?) that were in my carriage this morning! I think perhaps national rail should redefine 'complimentary seat reservation'!! Someone was having a laugh! I'd had this bright idea I would read some articles for my MSc on the 2 hr journey but the noise of squealing girls put paid to that! They were quite amusing though - conversation of kids that age is always a bit of an eye opener. It was very clear that quite a few of them had never been on a train before and certainly never been to London. One little girl was all ready to get off the train at Diss and had to be convinced by her rather know it all friend that this was definitely not London! And several decided to start their 'snacks' within minutes of setting off on the 7.30 train - cheese and onion crisps at that time in the morning?!!!
I was glad of my ipod and book and had a pleasant couple of hours with Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn and Noah & the Whale muting the shrieking while I concentrated on my read of the moment...
I have enjoyed all of Sebastian Faulks that I have read and am engrossed in this one, bought for me for christmas by No. 1 son, which explores the development of psychiatry at the end of the 19th century, through the lives of two friend and their families.
I have struggled to make time to read of late - I think because I carry a lot of irrational guilt about 'what else' I should be doing. Somehow sitting down with a book feels like such a self indulgent thing to do when there is Stuff that should be sorted/cooked/cleaned/written... Funnily enough I had been thinking that once I have got this degree over with I might have another go at reading some of those books everyone says you 'should' read when I read todays blog post from The Girl about what defines a classic in terms of books, which made me think of it all over again. There is so much out there that I have never read and a number of books that have been on my must do list for such a long time - Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary and lots more that son 1 (who is an English graduate) can't quite believe I've never read. I think I have decided that whilst I would like to read some of those books classed as 'classics' I will only do so if they captivate me and draw me in - I have to enjoy the language and the skill of the writer as I have no desire to make reading a slog instead of a pleasure.
The meeting itself required some serious thinking... I always come away from these things feeling stimulated and driven but frustrated in equal measure as the confines of the day job make it so challenging to do the kind of developmental work that is being demanded. It is good, though, to be in an environment where people are interested and value your contributions - quite affirming as it certainly doesn't always feel like that at home! One of the tasks we were asked to do today was to consider our attitudes and beliefs and how that (and those of others around us) are affected by change and decision making.
Of course, this made me think about my attitudes to life generally; the problem is, I then get to too much thinking about whether I should make some serious life changes to address the bits of my life that feel unfulfilled somehow. I know I have a lot to feel happy about but I can't help feeling that there must be a bit more than this? It doesn't seem right that away from home I feel as though I'm challenged to use my brain and although this means I'm often outside my comfort zone, it makes me feel 'alive' somehow. At home, a lot of the time conversation is very limited and mundane - life has just become so functional; just a process of getting through each day. Of course, there are things each day that I find uplifting, often in just some small way and it is these things I had hoped to capture on this blog, but I don't want to just plod through the remainder of my life counting my way through the working days, the meals and the loads of washing! I want to be able to look forward to each day and importantly to look forward to my at home time too.
As I said...too much thinking. I go round and round in circles because in my heart of hearts I know I am a) not brave enough to make the leap to a different life and b) not prepared to cause major disruption to everyone else that I love. Is the grass really any greener on the other side? I don't know.
For now, I think I have to try to find my happy places, take the opportunities that I can and not become bitter about the rest.
So here's to positive thinking...