IN REARVIEW // April-July 2018

4.8.18

Minutes turn to hours, turn to days, turn to weeks at an alarming rate of late and before I know it entire months have vanished before me. It felt like the middle of winter when last I posted - dark nights still wrapped tightly around us and the memory of snow only just beginning to fade. Spring has long since been and gone, plotting its course with the steady appearance of new life and the slow lengthening of our days, unravelling into the warmth and brightness of summer that greets us today.

There is something comforting about nature's inevitable routine - the way summer always follows spring, follows winter, follows autumn - that simple, predictable pattern year on year, never fading away. Sometimes I wish more elements of life were the same.

Instead, so much of life is clouded by uncertainty; prone to unpredictability; difficult to forecast; liable to somehow, suddenly change.

My last few months have been like this, in many ways. Life has its ups and downs; its highs and lows; its coming and passing waves and I've found myself faced with them all in recent months and days.

My mood, in particular, has been liable to change - moments of sunshine interspersed with days of all-consuming grey - but this feels like normal human experience, shaped by life and all it throws at us, rather than depression's once shadowy haze. There have been painful lessons and steeply climbed curves; moments of unpleasant vulnerability, with new self-insights to be taken away. There have been difficult periods in the last few months but they arrive for a reason and they soon fade away.

Besides, if life were a cocktail, my measures of grey have been shaken with plenty of productive and enjoyable days.

There has been a dash of volunteering - the same cafe position, thrown in with a new role working with children. We spend time in the forest, building camp-fires and bridges and relationships and resilience, and it is completely out of my comfort zone but entirely brilliant - I am challenged, but hopefully growing.

Then came a solid serve of exercise, having joined a new gym, completed a hillwalking programme and taken up running - Jog Scotland and parkrun connecting me to a community and maintaining my enthusiasm.

Added to that, a splash of music and all its accompanying emotions - the highs of another Frank Turner gig (the second this year), and the lows of losing a favourite musician, floored by grief at the death of Scott Hutchison - a stranger whose voice felt like a familiar friend.

The syrup of celebration then muddled in - I turned 30 in June and, for the first time in years, allowed a birthday acknowledgement. There was a weekend surprise from my sister - a road-trip to St Andrews; gin-tasting in my grandma's old cottage; foodie fun and museums in Dundee. There is an evening of good food and even better company, holed up in the DogTap with my best friend and family. There is a trip to Inverness just for me - a chance to process this milestone I wasn't sure I'd reach, with books and brunch; with dolphins and waterfalls and driving stunning scenery.

And finally, a garnish of exploration - playing tourist in my local area on long summer days. There have been days of aimless wandering; of hopping in the car and seeing where it takes me. I've visited Peterhead's Prison Museum; Aberdeen's botanic gardens; the Tolbooth, Zoology and Maritime Museums separately. I've spent time out in Banchory, hiking Scolty hill, seeing Drum and Crathes Castle, being awed by the roar of the Falls of Feugh. I've taken detours to the Bullers of Buchan; fawned over all the animals at Easter Anguston Farm and Hazlehead petting zoo; Geocached in Ellon; been to Grampian's first Pride; loved the Inspired Nights and George Street markets; and eaten my way through an abundance of local food. There has been much joy to be found in pausing to appreciate this place I call home; stopping to soak in the little treasures I often overlook.

The days have rushed on in recent months - hours and weeks blending into one. Yes, there have been grey days and difficult ones. But so too has been pleasure and progress - a summer of literal and metaphorical warmth and sun. There will be rainy days and foggy moments ahead, I'm sure, but the last few months have left me feeling hopeful and happy and a tiny bit more confident in my ability to handle whatever sunshine or storms may come.


xo

1 comment:

  1. You sounds like you've really made the most of the last few months - I've loved following your adventures on Instagram <3

    G is for Gingers xx

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