|See that stickman up there? That’s me, that is.|
I’ve been neglecting this blog lately, and that’s a damned shame. I keep telling myself I want to be a writer and then sitting down to do a sum total of no writing. Part of me wants to blame my elderly* laptop’s sticky-buttoned keyboard. But let’s be honest here. It’s my old adversaries Laziness and Apathy rearing their ugly heads again. I’d rise up and rebel against them but I usually just can’t be bothered. Ho hum. I think I need to re-evaluate my internet habits to see if I can stream-line my online activities and make the most of my free time. For now, though, I blog.
I have two very important developments to talk about here. They’re both achievements of different kinds, both mean a lot to me and both are worth resurrecting the blog for – but I don’t really want to double-post and I don’t want to put either topic off, so I’ll try to do them both justice in one post.
A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend Tonks decided we needed to be more spontaneous. So we picked ourselves off the sofa and took ourselves down to Nottingham Climbing Centre and took a little introductory course in rock climbing. As someone with a little height problem, I thought this would prove to be a challenge, possibly an insurmountable one. Still, I was willing to show … er … willing. And I’m certainly glad I did.
Rock-climbing gives me a thrill that I don’t think I’ve felt in a long time (except possibly on the set of ‘Jeremy’, that short film wot I wrote). After the introductory session I felt elated, lighter-than-air. I’ve never been especially active, not in a physical sense. Yet once I was strapped into the harness and Tonks was at the bottom taking up slack I was scampering up the wall like a spider-monkey. I was nervous at first but the instructor advised me to loosen up and not to hug the wall – after which it just clicked.
We’ve been back twice since, with friends, and we’ve decided to make it a regular thing. It’s such incredible fun, and it feels like such an achievement for me. I’ve found something active and fun that I’m actually quite good at. That fear of heights? It doesn’t even factor into it more than a vague feeling of nervousness as I pat the wall looking for the next handhold. And it’s helping me get in shape. It’s Accidental Exercise. And it’s glorious.
The second achievement is equally glorious & potentially life-changing. A team leader position opened up at work. I wasn’t sure at first whether or not I should go for it. Firstly there’s the hours; 13.30 to 22.00 every weekday. Ouch. I’d lose Scifi, JuggleSoc, evening climbing. My social life would need an overhaul. There’s also my long-standing self-confidence issues and my tendency to find a comfortable rut and stay in it. I am the immoveable object.
In the end, of course, I applied. This is a long way from the worst job I’ve ever had and I like working with most of my colleagues. If I’m going to stay here, I’m going to need to push myself and challenge myself. If I don’t then I’ll get complacent, and it’s when I’m complacent that I start to make mistakes. For the past few months I’ve had perfect monitoring results and while that’s great there’s been a real danger of me getting lazy. So, I applied.
And I only went and bloody got it!
I’ve been congratulated right left and centre for the past two days, which has made me feel incredibly loved. My head’s still spinning a bit, truth be told. Me? In a position of relative power and responsibility? Taking things seriously? Surely not. And yet …
And yet I think I can do it. Scratch that – I know I can do it. It’ll be nerve-wracking at first, and it’ll take a while for me to work out a viable routine but I’m excited. More responsibility, a more varied job role, better pay and a bit of stability. And while my social life will take a nasty knock, it won’t be completely killed; I’ll still have weekends, and as I finish at 10 I’ll be able to swing by the pub after others have been to Scifi & JuggleSoc. My mornings will be my own; shopping, doctor’s appointments, tidying, video-gaming – perhaps even some actual bloody writing for once!
So I’m embracing the change. Without change we stagnate, and if we stagnate then we don’t live, we merely exist. And who wants to merely exist? Existing is boring. Breathe in. Breathe out. Left foot. Right foot. Eat. Sleep. Boring. Now living? Living is worth giving a try.
If you’ve read this far, please leave a comment talking about something you’ve always wanted to do, or something you came across recently that you think you might like to try. Then go and do it. Just go and do it. Find the time, find the money. The former is easier than the latter but it can be done. You’ll feel better for it – even if it’s not something you enjoy, it’s a first step to finding something you do. It’s a cliché but it still rings true – you only live once. So stop existing.
Go and live.
* A year or so. That’s elderly in the technology world.