Pumpkins

I’ve been twalking with a friend after work today  and I feel as if most of the conversation has been about me. I don’t like monopolising time with people and banging on and on just about myself but I’ve been struggling to work though how I feel over the last week.

All day long because of this my thoughts have been quite deep.

I barely noticed that I was standing in a huge pile of sheep sh*t today as I stopped to drink in the wide open sky and lush green fields around me.

I feel like I haven’t been on enough walks like this recently and it was nice to get out and shake off the day in the office. It’s been raining and windy all day and up until this evening not too great for exercise.

I hate it when I can’t go for a spirited walk because when I do it really helps to order my thoughts. I’ve been thinking about my future a lot and I’m really stumped – because when I try to imagine what I will be doing in years to come I realise that I still don’t fully understand my past.

When I recall my life it seems like I’ve spent almost all of it entirely lacking in ambition or drive.

I can’t say that I’ve ever understood the pursuit of material wealth or outward displays of status – and frankly I still don’t.

I mean instead that in the past I’ve been content to drift through the world like a twig on a stream.

I’ve usually waited for moments where the waters I’m propelled by become choppy or even threaten to consume me completely. I’ve used the ‘tides of life’ to inform my decision making process for as long as I can remember and in certain respects I’m aware that this aspect of me still plays a large part in determining my choices.

It would definitely be true to say that it was this lazy brinkmanship that started me on my current path – and that it wasn’t until I saw my own rather dark reflection in the face of my mother (a woman that I had little respect or love for) that I pulled back from the metaphorical edge of my personal precipice.

Most of the time I really don’t care what the reason was that started all this – I’m just glad it happened. However, there are moments (usually when I see elements of my old thought processes resurfacing) where I start to analyse how and why I’ve become who I am now and I keep coming to the conclusion that it isn’t because I’m a go-getter.

I fear it’s because I’m someone who is terrified of the consequences of inactivity rather than someone that’s goal oriented with an ideal future in mind to strive for.

Whenever I start thinking about this I look at things which I feel I’m driven to do and ask what informs that need.

For instance I’m still walking a lot and that hasn’t diminished at all.


Since I started my job almost five weeks ago I’ve maintained an average of 10 miles a day almost exactly and I’ve not let myself drop below this, even in a period where I felt really ill (peeky).

In real terms (bearing in mind that I currently work 37.5 hours a week) I fit in a lot more now than I was doing when I was just focusing on my weight and was unemployed. In the calendar month since I started work I’ve walked over 310 miles and 620,000 steps.

So – what’s causing this behaviour?

I often joke that I’m a bit OCD.

I’m not though really – and that would be doing an injustice to people that genuinely suffer from this problem. I don’t feel the need to turn a light switch on and off repeatedly so I doubt it’s this.

People regularly tell me it’s because I’m determined.

Often I don’t feel determined though. I just carry on and on putting one foot in front of the other because it makes me feel good. It doesn’t seem particularly unusual anymore – nor does it seem to take much in the way of willpower most of the time, so I’m not convinced it’s determination.

People have also (enthusiastically) agreed in the past that I’m at times pretty stubborn – and I’ve wondered if it’s sheer bloody mindedness that’s the root cause of my progress.

I don’t necessarily think this is true either – as a lot of my old behaviour in this respect manifested itself in an inflexibility when faced with change. Nowadays I try to enthusiastically say ‘yes’ to most things and just see what happens rather than my previous default ‘no’.

I guess it’s maybe more accurate to say that a combination of all of these things in larger and smaller measures have combined to enable me to be who I am now – but even then I feel they’re not the whole picture.

The thing is that I’d really like the reason for why I’ve come so far to be more than ‘I hated myself so much that there was no option but to change‘.

If I believe that the sole basis for my metamorphosis is the same behavioural trait that I’ve always had (wait until things are too much to bear and then act) then how do gather the self belief to move forward in other aspects of my life – such as my career and relationships (both of which are still lacking any significant direction or plan).

This brings me back to ambition.

In truth I have always viewed ambition only as aspirational thinking related to employment or wealth.

If I’m honest I’ve also probably had a very negative view of it in others and saw them as very different or even alien to me.

Recently however (around 9-12 months ago) a good friend pointed out to me that although I wasn’t interested in either of these things that I was actually very ambitious.

I just aspired to different things in life. 

Above all else I wanted happiness, health, love, friendship and inner peace.

In truth I have realised recently that I’ve always wanted these things. What I’ve struggled with is not knowing how to obtain them and what they actually meant. In the process of trying to deal with the vacuum that their absence created instead I buried my lack of fulfilment under alcohol and food.

This behaviour continued until paradoxically I ended up creating a situation where I had almost exactly none of what I wanted or needed.

The more I think about this the more I lose sleep.  I don’t want to repeat my mistakes.

I’ve had another night where I’m pondering on what comes next – and what I’m going to do in the coming phases of my life when I reach my goal weight.

In many ways this is a terrifying prospect because getting to the top of a mountain means one of two things. Either you decide to stay on the mountain and make it your home or you end up having to make your way back down.

Personally I plan to live at high altitude (it has a better view) but what I do while I’m up there is still up for debate.

I refuse to believe for a moment that reaching a ‘normal’ (I hate that word) weight will be the end of my forward impetus. When I get there I need to have something waiting there for me. I have to have a goal to do something else – to move forward in another way and to improve another aspect of me.

There has to be more – but at the moment I don’t know what that is or how I start it…

In some respects maybe this is a good thing. To remain in at least partially unfulfilled in some area of your life can only be a plus – because without a hunger for improvement there’s no need to get out of bed.

I feel irritable though.

Like I have an itch I can’t reach.

I can only describe the sensation as a need to search for something but not knowing why or what it is – and because of that is remains just out of reach and intangiable.

One thing is for sure – I’m not going to find the answer in the fields of Warwickshire tonight. There are just sheep and lots of pumpkins.

Sigh.

At the very least I hope I’ve laid the groundwork for some solid sleep.

Davey


15 thoughts on “Pumpkins

  1. Friendship is about give and take and about sharing. That give and take doesn’t have to be equal in a get-together, sometimes one needs to offload more than the other but, over time, friends share the listening. You are a good listener and a good friend so never feel you’ve monopolised a chat, it only happens when one or the other friend needs it. Tonight was your turn xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, I think you will find just staying and living at a high altitude is a goal in itself. As someone who is there, I will tell you: it continues to involve hard work to stay up there.

    Also I think you are attaching too much importance to the need for ambition in all aspects of your life. Honestly, you have the ambition to be healthy and stay that way, which is absolutely awesome. And you yourself said it: you have a bunch of desires that you wish to fulfill. But does the fulfillment of these desires necessarily require ambition? I am not so sure

    If your desire is to work with the same company for the rest of your life as long as there is food on the table, you look forward to going to work and have nice colleague’s, there should be nothing wrong with that. In a recent Ted talk I watched the speaker pointed out that we attach far too much importance to the question “what do we want to do when we grow up” (i.e. our ambitions). I honestly think that society has conditioned us to think of prestigious goals when answering this question (We need to be successful professionals at the top of our profession) But what if your answer to this would be: have a comfortable job and just get by? What in earth is nothing wrong with that?! For me the answer would be completely different: I cannot stand the idea of having the same job with the same company for multiple years. I would go stark raving mad. (There is a reason I am willing to travel 3 hours a day to get to my current workplace: they allow me to grow and evolve into different jobs lol). But this is not really the answer society would want me to give is it?

    Basically what I am trying to say is to go ahead and chase your desires. But please, please do so in a way that you believe you will be able to obtain them. Not in the way that society prescribes you should.

    And I don’t think there is a need to fear that you will get into old habits by striving to have a comfortable life (whatever that is for you). Because it strikes me that in the past you actually never were comfortable. You chose ease, not comfort :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There needs to be a Marjolein plushy toy. If you’re feeling a bit low or uncertain you could give it a squeeze and it would give you a smile and cheer you up!

      I think though it would also have a button hidden in its tummy so that it could say wise and well reasoned things to make you think a bit after cheering you up 😂

      If they ever get made I’m buying one 👍🏽

      I’ll be thinking in the meantime about everything you’ve said xx 😘

      Like

      1. Awwhh shucks! I am glad my words cheered you up though! 🙂

        Haha if it would be up to you we would have an entire range of Mar “cheer you up” merchandise hahaha. XD Not sure if the world is ready for that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Overthinking sucks! I never knew what I wanted to do. I am 45 and still have no clear aspirations except happiness. It doesn’t mean I am drifting, I am one of the strongest people out there. I may think I am weak for giving in and eating chocolate, but thats human! We need to appreciate the bigger picture and not overthink. Lifes too short so go with it and do what makes you feel happy or content. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right Melanie – sometimes it’s tough to not overthink things though. I’m so conscious that I don’t want to slip into old patterns that sometimes the associated thought processes consume me!

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      1. I get that completely! I dont want to do it again so i must think about it. But thinking about it means you do it again. And then your brain is so full youve forgotten what you were worrying about!!! Or is that just me?! Humans tend to look at achievements in terms of wealth and success. If i look at my peers in school now, im jealous of some. Im still here. I didnt move to london and become a director. My marriage failed. Im doing it alone. But on the flip side, i would hate to live in london, being a director doesnt interest me, my kids love me and I can watch what i want and fart if i want 😂👌

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, its a mix of IBS and eating so much veg and fruit. Its a problem! I’ve bought most of Boots & Holland & Barratt trying to improve it and take meds from doctors. #itsonlynatural

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The bimuno powder I started taking a week or so ago has seemed to have some positive impacts. I can’t claim it to be a wonder cure – but my windy bottom appears to have been less… volcanic 😏

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  4. Gah, I had two blog posts I didn’t even know about! WordPress is playing silly buggers with me now 😡

    Anyway, when you eventually stop losing weight there are still PLENTY of other things you can work on. I know because I’ve been having the exact same thoughts. When I’m as slim as I want to be I want to get stronger, and happier, and healthier. There are so many fitness goals that can be achieved, tweaking of diets to include healthy fats or vitamins and proteins or whatever, and let’s not forget mental goals. Right now I’m aiming to be kinder to idiots at work (still needs work, as you can tell!) and to smile more at people who are mean, and there’s so much more. A lifetime’s worth. The work will never be completed so we never have to stop moving forward.

    This part is just the beginning! And I know you’ll be fine because that noggin of yours is always whirring away and you’ll eventually get it figured out. The joys of being an over thinker 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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