A clean sheet of paper. The first in quite a long while: too long in fact. Where do I start? We all know that the weather in the UK is currently amazing, that night follows day, that, sigh, where am I heading here?
Joey. Dear little Joey...now even smaller as I’ve had him shaved for the summer [he is a dog by the way not an errant child or heaven forbid husband] can spin me into a complete stress. It’s been a good number of years since I had a dog around and never one adopted at 8 years of age. But Joey has his own pages in my head; such is his personality that he deserves his own space. But I am stressing over his blooming barking at other dogs. In fact I am just stressing.
I think I was raised a worrier. My dad certainly was. He would come home from work every night and ruminate over the day’s events and talk them through with my mother. She would listen and let him get it off his chest and ask the right questions. She was his leveller.
A scrupulously fair man he would never do anything rash, everything was carefully thought through and justified and he took full responsibility for his actions and no doubt worried about them too! We were brought up to have respect and to have conviction in our actions, to stand up for ourselves if we believed in what we were saying even if we were a lone figure in a throng.
The responsibility of my actions weigh heavily on my own shoulders still; too heavy. But why? Why do I feel so responsible for things that are out of my control? Why do I worry that my words may hurt someone? We are all entitled to our own thoughts and opinions and rarely do I take anyone’s opinions personally. How daft am I?
I have just spent over a week worrying about the daftest thing; telling a guy I don’t want to see him again. The first guy in a long time that had seemed ‘normal’. We had a lot in common but there was no spark, no excitement, no nothing. I analysed every detail. Was I just running away because he was close to what I wanted? Would he be upset? Would he accept it? ‘He, he, he...’ was I worrying about me? No. I had to accept that I was getting so worked up about the whole thing that it was obviously not right to be with him and so I did the deed. He said ok, yes ok.
A weight had been lifted off my back. I had my space back. The weekends were once again mine to do what I wanted to do for me. Sounds selfish? No, not really. In my old fashioned married for 24 years head yes weekends were for being a couple but in the 7 year single head, weekends were my space to be me especially with the stress of work. Yes, there goes that word again.
What that short relationship did enforce in me was that there has to be a connection between two people for a relationship to work in my life. Also that I missed being out in the English countryside for the weekend as it does me the power of good. It invigorates and inspires me [lets ignore this year’s hay-fever development] and with the lack of a significant other to throw things around with, it is my leveller.
So, only yesterday, I bought a tent. Nothing too fancy and nothing too small either. Big enough to sleep in and sit in should I need to be inside but small enough to not give me too many issue to erect.
But then I’m off on my stress mission once more. Joey
Since I have only had him for 6 months, his personality keeps coming out and he is a definite bossy dog and use to having his own way. He hates not being by my side when I do anything. Washing the car on the drive he will bark constantly at the window. I just ignore him as telling him off does no good whatsoever. So is he going to be a pain in the butt whilst I am calmly trying to erect the tent watched by the googly eyes of other campers? Then there is his peer attitude. I’ve never known a dog so contrary. Walkies on one day and he can smile and greet other dogs or nonchalantly walk past them. On other days he will bark at every dog he sees, usually with tail wagging. What am I actually worrying about though?
The barking will stop.
He’s on a lead so can be controlled.
It’s just a bit of noise.
What I should be thinking about is the first brew on the camping stove.
The sitting enjoying the view.
The first night under canvas for more years than I care to remember
and the smell of bacon wafting across a field to wake me up in the morning and relaxing.
I need to remember what it felt like to sit on the big swings as a kid. Pump your legs getting the swing higher and higher to the point of where you get the slack in the chains. Your heart beating fast, swooping back to the ground, grazing the toe of your shoes on the earth. No one to catch you if you fall but not even thinking that. Just enjoying the rush of adrenalin that left you feeling giddy with laughter and pleasure.