The first blog of 2020 being a monthly link up with A Chronic Voice just feels very right. There’s so much about this country / the world needing more connection, so this is my small way of achieving that.
I’ve done my fair share of this in 2019, and I don’t think anyone would disagree! Friendships, ‘stuff’, work, exercise, have all been through a thorough purge. Living on a narrowboat does mean I’m much less likely to replace much of any of this. All definitions of this word use a variation of the word ‘unwanted’. I can’t say all these have been unwanted in my mind but my health as deemed them unwanted and I am learning to listen to this part of me more and more.
I didn’t open many presents this Christmas just gone, as I had requested to not exchange any (as I decided in July and reiterated here just before Christmas). Luckily with the above purge, there were fewer people to talk to about this! A few naughty people did ignore this and now I’m not so sure how to respond but I just have to accept that is what they wanted to do. In reflection I am satisfied and even slightly thrilled about my openness with others about not wanting to open presents as it adds to my desire for a simple life. Although not opening creates a negative idea but in fact it was all very positive and a tradition I hope to continue with.
Plans are afoot to revamp the bedroom and bathroom areas of the boat later this year and I’m really eager for this to start. The bedroom is my cosy nest where I am often found, snuggled up under blankets with a book or laptop as I am now, writing this text. I also come here when people pop in for a cuppa or a feed and I can’t manage any more social interaction.Sometimes this can mean I feel a little trapped; there is not enough space to have duplicates of some items I would like in both areas. I am not sure if there could be slightly more space, but there will at least be an opportunity to reorganise and re-prioritise. it is also far enough away from the fire to feel the chill, especially when the doors are shut to reduce the noise, and part of the revamp plans are to put in a small fire. I love winter on the boat and to know that the next one will be even cosier, and easier for my health, thanks to this revamp
I really struggled to do this about 18 months ago. I couldn’t see into the future because I was planning each day as it came without any other thoughts. I realise now that this makes for a pretty depressed mindset and it’s taken living on a narrowboat to clamber out of that pit. I now can envision the future, which is obviously also helped by seeing a long future with my partner in crime, captain, woodchopper, su-chef, snuggle-champion partner Tom (OK you can go and make retching noises now!). In all seriousness, I have had above-average pain for over a week now – since Boxing Day – and before this would have stopped me envisioning anything. I’m grateful for all my privileges and experiences which mean I am where I am now, and where I will be in the future.