Difficulty moving forward

Here is a listening version of this blog post.

It is natural, when we have difficulty moving forward, to assume that we have no wish to move. And there are those who will capitalise on our difficulty with moving forward and taking the initiative by assuming, for example that, “Since you’re sitting there, you can do this for me / wait for me / come with me…”

But since I have worked out – so recently that it is almost embarrassing – that deciding, doing and moving are all that bit extra challenging for me and that taking that extra time and effort out of an average day counts as a peculiarly painful loss, I am now surprisingly indignant when I spot this habit gliding silently towards me, ready to take up position in service of someone else’s life, ambitions or expectations.

Paul D’AguilarPerfecto Resting

Hubby says to me, “Well, please go and do what you would like to do…” and is baffled that I find it difficult; while he would find it relatively simple to decide. He is a man who knows his own mind and is quite happy to populate his spare time with things he enjoys: more power to him.

But what if I have never really known what I would prefer to do? So that by the time my speedy friends have worked out their idea of a good time – “Want to go to the cinema? Great, let’s go!” – it’s too late for me to add my considered response, “Actually, I would really, really love to go and walk in a park with tall trees…” without sounding like a kill-joy. The assumption evolves effortlessly that I am countering an earlier suggestion with a no; whereas I am merely slower to unearth my preferences. (If I were able to leap into a blank canvas with my idea first, others could and probably would counter it, but at least my speed would shield my reputation.)

Perhaps I come to this now merely because I have reached an age in which it is expected that I want to go slower. I receive mailings about funeral plans, insurance for the over fifties, home equity release schemes, sedate holidays for those on the brink of retirement… Which are, again, lots of other people’s ideas begging a hearing.

Whereas I feel that I need to start moving. I have so much living still to do.

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