The Wanderer Returns

Things have been a bit quiet here recently. Understatement of the year, quite possibly. There was a lot going on, too much in fact, from various areas of life.

That was then, this is now. Life isn’t as chaotic as it was yet it remains chaotic enough to remind me that being content is all relative. When I remember to remember that is. I’m not going to do an ‘update’ post, I’m sure I’ll mention anything interesting that happened in detail at some point.

Suffice to say 2016 highlights were probably going back to therapy and having an operation that didn’t go as well as predicted. Therapy was great, I was a little sad when it came to an end, Wednesday mornings have lost a little of their appeal.

It’s a shame there is still a stigma around talking therapies. I’m not talking about CBT which, I acknowledge can be beneficial in some instances, is too often used in a one-size-fits-all manner, thereby putting people off exploring the other options available that would probably be much more beneficial to them.  A few years ago I put together a site that gave a brief introduction to various styles of psychotherapy. It could probably do with an update, I’ll add it to the never ending to-do list.

It is my intention to spend more time with friends, something I have been remiss in doing over the last year or two. It’s easy to forget the importance of human interaction when you spend a lot of time on social media, sitting in company while using your phone doesn’t count as interaction. Not so long ago you would meet up with friends once a month, have a drink and catch-up on what had been going on. These days you can get most of that from someone’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feed.

In 2017 a vast majority of us do our catching-up in a succession of 140 character sentences from the comfort of our sofas/beds/toilets and not only that, we have multiple conversations at the same time, with people all over the globe. Much more efficient that sitting in a bar/coffee shop with just one person. That’s what we have become. Reclusive on the outside and gregarious within.

Once, many moons ago, I happened to catch Desert Island Discs and Joss Ackland was being interviewed. He was a hugely interesting interviewee and something he said has stuck with me over the years.  When asked about how he’d cope alone on a desert island he explained he’d probably be okay as he enjoyed his own company as much as socialising. He described himself as a gregarious loner.

He had just articulated how I felt, as much today as I did then. I have no doubt, after a day or two of restlessness, I’d soon settle down to a life of solitude if I knew that’s what lay ahead. I was once told I would probably adapt to prison life very easily. I think it was a compliment. If it wasn’t my fear of being the recipient of a beating from a bar of soap in a sock I’d consider a tax payer funded flat-share and education with gym membership and meals provided.

However, as much as I can comfortably cope without talking to anyone for weeks at a time, I really enjoy being out and about in company; whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat, sinking a few pints or wandering around the latest exhibition at the V & A. I somehow got out of the habit of going out (is that a CBT fan I hear muttering at their screen?) and gradually found myself getting more anxious at the thought of it.

Often I spend an hour or two getting myself psyched up enough to get ready to go out. I’d have a shower, maybe even iron a shirt, check myself in the mirror, tell myself I was going to have a great time. I’d pick up my keys, open the front door and pause for a fraction of a second before closing the door, taking off my jacket and heading to the kitchen to put the kettle on to make a mug of tea.

If you were to ask me if I had made a New Year Resolution  Id’ reply that I had and it’s this; to reduce the number of mugs of tea I drink at home. This week I ensured that on Monday when I spent the night drinking whisky at the DVD launch of the TV show Quarry.


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