Sunday, 6 May 2012

Talking To Others

I sometimes worry with all the new technology around. We send quick text messages, short emails and statuses on social networking sites. I wonder whether we lose the ability to tell stories and actually communicate fully and learn from others. With books becoming electronic now and newspapers all being online and easily accessible to all. I guess one day we will not be able to talk at all! I am sure written communication is taking over and we no longer speak. I often think this at work when sending emails to the person sits two desks down from me or ordering a pizza on the internet rather than picking up the phone to a take-away!
Everyone has a story to tell. I was sat in a popular coffee chain this morning having a drink before heading back out into the rain again. I was sat alone in a new city that I did not know on one of my days exploring the country. I watched the rain in the puddles outside and the gray clouds. There would not be any let up on the rain today. A couple were sat on the table opposite. There was an elderly lady sat talking to a middle aged man with a small child on his lap asleep. I found myself thinking the child was the lucky one! I was wrong!
The elderly lady was talking to the man about her life. She was telling him that she smokes but does not drink alcohol. She told him she does not eat chocolate because she was diabetic. She told him how it is her only luxury in life these days. She told him how many she smokes a day and when she needs one.
The lady spoke about the middle aged mans son and when she was little she was a “Tom-Boy” and how she feels for the youth of today. She said she was always climbing trees and getting told off. She spoke about her grand children and goes on to say she never smokes in front of them. The man was looking tired of her endless stories but nodded appropriately. I felt his boredom. I was wrong! 
This took me back to a journey I took from London to Paris on the coach and overnight ferry. The coach left at midnight and I never sleep on these things! I usually read or wrote down some thoughts but very rarely talk to people. I left knowing it would be a long journey and I would not arrive into Paris until nine the next morning.
On this occasion I was nervous about the journey and what was to greet me the other end. I decided to speak to an elderly lady next to me. Fortunately she was travelling alone as well and seemed to talk back. Communication is difficult for me but she was easy to talk to. I felt the need to talk. I found a lot about this lady and where she was going, where she grew up, where she went to school, what she did for a living and also her friends and family. We spoke about music, television, current affairs. I felt I found out all about her and told her a lot about myself. Towards the end of the journey we swopped address and promised we would write when we returned home and tell each other about our time away! Neither of us actually did! I was wrong!
Everyone has a story to tell and this is what separates us from animals. I guess this is why I love to blog. This is to express my opinions and views of the world and to see if there is anyone out there on this big world. I guess this is why this lady was speaking to this man. I thought this was nice. I started off thinking he must be bored stupid of listening to this lady. As I got up to leave and pay my bill the man behind the counter said:
“She can talk the hind leg off a donkey and bet he wishes he had never come in”!
I said: “I think his son had the right idea”!
I then walked out the coffee shop and carried on exploring. I was however wrong and wish the lady had come over to me and spoken to me! They say “Talk is cheap” but sometimes it can be very valuable to some people and wish I had written to that lady I met on the way to Paris. When I said what I did to the man behind the counter I did not see the bigger picture. The elderly lady was maybe anxious or lonely. I was wrong.

Here and Now

A lot of my thoughts start in the shower. This one started on a Sunday evening. I had been out for a walk to get some fresh air. I had done some work on a Christmas present sewing kit. I had watched the grand prix and fell asleep through most of the race only to wake up and see the interviews afterwards! I had little jobs to do around the house and thought about washing up and doing some tidying. This job could lead to bigger jobs and I would get into organising lots of bits and this would not be relaxing unless I could do all of it! I therefore selected to have a shower to save time the next morning.
The next day I had a day off work and I was going exploring. I needed some time off as it had been a stressful few weeks and needed to rest and the weekend was not long enough! I did not want to be stuck at home and wanted to explore a bit more of the area around me! I was sick of watching television of being stuck in front of a computer. I wanted some fresh air, to get out, to see new sites.
Anyway back to my shower! I thought a bit about what I was going to do on my day off; however when thinking about this I realised that today, Sunday, was also a day off! I started thinking about how much of my life was spent waiting for things. Some of the time I was thinking about long term things like starting a family and some of them shorter term like getting the bus and then getting the train to where I was going and also what I was going to have for tea. I thought in one form or other I spending most of my life waiting! My Mum used to say:
“Don’t wish your life away!” However I was and I do! When I was at school I would wish for the weekends and then the holidays and then the end of school so I could go to college. I guess ever since I have had a conscience mind I have been waiting for things to happen!
Thinking further I asked myself a question if there was ever a point in time when I was not waiting for things. My thoughts went back to big events in my life and if these events were worth waiting for and if I actually fully enjoyed them when I was participating in them. I had always told myself to:
“Make the most of them”! I thought back and on the whole I generally was pleased to think that I did. My mind after these events ultimately moved on to the next thing. I therefore have concluded that waiting for things should be limited and I should enjoy the day and concentrate on the here and the now! I guessed there were so many things I was waiting for in the long and the short term! I thought about setting myself down some rules for living.
I did think that I should spend very short amounts of time looking at long term goals such as building a family. I thought I should spend medium amounts of time thinking about what I will be doing in the next few months such as a summer holiday and going to see my friends’ daughter getting christened. Finally a bit longer thinking short term such as what I will do when I get off this train. (This is the place I am writing this blog). I will try and set myself the goal of only thinking of three main things I am thinking to do next. Such as get off this train, get a lift to get some food and finally choose something to eat! I will try not to think overly anymore than that! I will not think of the long drive back home from the restaurant. I will try and sit back and enjoy the journey!
I do play the game when someone asks me what I am going to do and I make a long and detailed list of everything I am planning to do and separate this with the words “and then”! I have made a pact with myself I am not going to do this anymore! Firstly because it bores people, secondly because it makes life seem like a list of jobs and thirdly because it may not happen like that! I have subsequently been told this is called pacing!
Whilst writing this I have not been thinking about what is next and I have just been enjoying the moment of writing. I think I need to have more time like this one and not think too far in the future.
My final point is to remember when not looking too far in the future is to also not look too far back in the past. The same rules will apply the opposite way around. I will spend little time thinking about the long ago past such as the hard days of school. I will think a medium amount of time thinking about the last few months like if I should have maybe found a nicer place to live for my rented accommodation. Finally a bit longer thinking about the things that happened recently. For example should I have given that man with the big bags my seat?
I should however therefore mostly enjoy the here and now. For exactly enjoy writing up my blog in the present!
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and now if a gift. This is why it is called the present!