This year I'm turning 50. I went to work yesterday and had no idea that I was supposed to take my son to a birthday party, even though he had been telling me for weeks that he had a party on the 6th. I thought the party was on Saturday the 6th, despite being fully aware that we would be starting house sitting that evening (Friday the 6th).
I'm not very good with the normal.
I acknowledge that I have trouble with some of the everyday activities that are an important part of leading a healthy, stress-free, and relatively successful (as in 'stay out of trouble') life. This is not a new thing. It's plagued me all my life. I love solving the big life questions, and I often get distracted. But I realise that if I don't conquer the normal, at 50, then (as a health scientist) I have to acknowledge I am increasing my risk of dying early.
Poor health, and stress will increase my risk (as I age) of heart disease, dementia, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions which will limit my quality of life and potentially reduce my length of life. If I'm going to have the adventures I plan on having then I need to conquer the normal.
What does it mean to conquer the normal? Some people seem to do it without a struggle - they manage their time, their finances, their health, their cleaning tasks. They remember people's birthdays, to retrieve the mail and to put out the bins all without a second thought. I get distracted by a good book and the thought of a good photo.
This year, I'm going to conquer the normal, without losing sight of the spontaneous. Can it be done?
Photo by Melinda Martin-Khan in Private Collection