The dictates of life
I have always felt that my life is rather too circumscribed by routines, and by what I have always believed I find physically difficult: to drive long distances while navigating, to venture into new country, to go a long time without rest, to eat strange foods without dubious consequences…..
We all have to compromise, and learn to take our time, of course. Especially, some might say, as we get older. But the challenge for me has been to accept routines which also tend to drive me slowly up the wall, because I find it hard to intersperse them with anything different or exciting. It would be easier to cook chicken curry for supper – again! – if I enjoyed afternoon adventures, gone somewhere new and exciting. But, strangely, despite my super-duper car and my independence, despite the time I could find for that quite easily, I am held back by a reluctance which fears to get lost, to flounder out of depth.
It hasn’t happened for years, but still I fear becoming lost. A shard of terror is never far away, especially as Edinburgh is now girdled by the bypass, which I do not drive down. Might I find myself on there by mistake? And what if I ended up in some far flung conurbation? How would I get home again? These infantile fears keep me fastened to routines which I have, in so many ways, outgrown.
Do other people fear the same things? Are they frightened to get lost? Somehow, I doubt it. My dignity will keep this silent, and I would not admit to anyone except my husband, how much my fears constrain me. He asks patiently, “Well, what do you want to do?” and I flounder for an answer. Given time, it comes to me that the answer is, “Go where I want to, without fear of getting lost.”