Saturday, 10 September 2016

House-sitting in Streatley ...

It's piddling down today, wonderful for my friends' garden, not so wonderful when I have to walk two dogs, one of whom is built like a canine sponge, care for the poultry, geese and sheep and make friends with a feline who is very, very particular about the company he keeps.

But, it's interesting, this experience of caring for someone else's home and animals. Difficult to sleep in a strange and small bed with different duvet and pillows, frustrating to shower under a modest dribble of water, sad not to have a player for my yoga and exercise DVDs,

First World problems that make me realise how little there is to complain about.

And it is, I am convinced of this, good to step outside of one's comfort zone and experience new things from time to time. That's why many of us go away on holiday and return refreshed and reinvigorated, and why holiday romances and moving to holiday locations so often fail to satisfy once they start to become everyday and routine.

But it's not necessary to stray too far, a slight change in the daily routine, learning a new skill, meeting new people, trying something different, all count, I think.

I am probably preaching to the converted.
I do wonder if my long sick leave has left me over-cautious and 'comfy'.
I know, from the experiences of others, that serious illness can make a person hesitant and fearful.
Perhaps that's why I feel the need to push myself.
What do you think?


  1. I think you are right about this. It certainly made me more anxious, my husband's Alzheimer's and my cancers. And I'm older than you are (I'm 71yrs) and older people become more cautious, too. I saw a therapist for a time for anxiety disorder and think I am really lucky to have my children and four grandchildren living near me so that there is a fair amount of "life" in my life. And many sorts of art (and other) classes are good. One learns new skills and meets new people. You had your daughter's accident and your illness so close together without much time to process them. So I think you are wise to recognize the need to engage with life!

  2. I remember another blogger telling of how she had said to a friend 'but I should get out of my comfort zone!' and he replied 'Why?'

    Which she then understood to mean not that there was no need to get out of one CZ, but that one should really do it for a good reason, not because getting out if it per se was automatically a Good Thing. Mortifying oneself with discomfort is not virtuous in itself.

    This post speaks to me very directly after this summer; I have found enforced simplifying and being made to consider what I really need and want to be very important and liberating. But perhaps to everything a season, and these shifts and changes simply have to be embraced at the right time.

    Your dribbly shower does sound a bit grim, and I'm certainly a bit fed up with scrimped pillows!

  3. There is nothing wrong with being cautious and comfy. I am now retired and it has made me less adventurous. I simply prefer staying at home day after day. About once a week I venture the 30 miles into "town" to get groceries and other "necessities." It is good to feel contented in place. Maybe it's a sign of growing old, I am not sure. It's OK to be satisfied with one's life at last. I do still dream of traveling but probably just won't do it. Of course, if I had a house in the north of France I WOULD take a ferry there as often as I could! As it is, I already live in my favorite place in the world. I know an occasional overnight visit to a friend or family member in a different town would only make home more wonderful. That would be OK! I feel fortunate every day. Julia, you deserve to be comfy and don't worry about being over cautious, it's OK.


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