According to the Oxford English Dictionary a blog is a “regularly updated website or web page.” My blog is regularly updated, but it appears to be annually rather than monthly or weekly. Sorry about that. You are forgiven if you forgot, like I did, that I even have a blog lurking somewhere in cyber space that I am in fact paying for.
By 9.00 am this morning I’d knocked back an ‘intensivo’ double espresso, turned up at the dentist on the wrong day and got drenched in the torrential rain. I’m listening to “Amor ti vieta” ( Umberto Giordano) at full volume instead of Ken Bruce, so I sense something is not quite normal about this day.
There is definitely something about turning 50. Let’s write about that to begin with. Apparently I am now a proud quinquagenarian which sounds like a type of rare bird. Last year I vowed I’d spend my 50th year doing lots of small adventurous and exciting things. Instead I’ve spent exactly a year pretty poorly with burn out. I’m still recovering, but that was my 50th year, and one I will never forget. However, I can honestly say that it’s probably been the best year I’ve ever had for feeling loved, cared for and valued (even more than before!) by my Heavenly Father, my amazing friends, colleagues and family.
I also feel that, despite finding even the distant bleating sheep excruciatingly painful to my ears, being inactive and staring at the ceiling, I have grown and been changed. I’m not a new me. Just different. I think differently. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad 50th year after all. It could even turn out to be a game changer.
One of my problems, which can be an asset at times, although I’m not sure when, is over thinking. I’ve had so much time to think. I’ve tried really hard to turn off the thinking button in my brain. I have even been thinking when I wasn’t aware I was thinking. My dad says he can think about nothing. When I asked him if he’d teach me how to do that, he says he just doesn’t think.
I’m considering taking up fishing because I don’t believe that requires a great amount of thinking does it? Just waiting. My waiting skills, or rather patience, have improved gradually during this past year. I’ve had little choice to be honest. I’d therefore surely make a great fisher-woman, not on the open sea but somewhere like the breathtakingly beautiful River Tyne. Never been, but Mr Google says it’s the best place for salmon in the spring.
Recently when I was in the Lake District I had a massage. (Recommended by the Dr of course!?) Catherine, the masseur was so lovely and obviously knew her stuff. She had a prized photo hanging on the wall of when she’d met Prince Charles at a well-being event in Bristol, not on the massage table! At the end of our session she almost reluctantly said to me, “I think you need to fall in love again with what makes you happy.”
Over 20 years ago I used to do a lot of drawing and painting. I decided to search out redundant pads and half used acrylics that I have kept in the spare room and attempt to draw and paint again. I have since discovered it slows me down and lifts me up.
Tomasz Schafernaker, meteorologist for BBC Weather, says you should draw something every day to develop your skills. Look him up on Instagram. Why he’s painting the nation a daily weather picture and not the town red with his incredible creations beats me. His work is stunning. @Schafernaker
Admittedly, some of my drawings have been ‘better’ than others. Some look like a 2 year old could easily have done them. Who cares. I put on my favourite Opera and stop thinking. You can look up my current journey with art at Instagram @jotbirksart or FB Jo Birks Art