I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty fed up with supermarket shopping. I know I have to do it, but visiting supermarkets is not a pleasurable experience for me. I would do anything to avoid it really. In fact, it was this article I read recently which really got me thinking about the role supermarkets play in South Africa, a country where millions are malnourished because they can’t afford healthy food, where farmers are so badly paid for their produce that they cannot afford to be in business any more, and where farm workers are some of the worst off out of everyone.
What a few weeks. I’ve been walking around like a zombie, with bouts of sobbing thrown in, flashes of fear, lots of anxiety-fuelled conversations, and thoughts racing like a bird trapped in a room. I don’t want to write about those moments though, as I’m still processing them, and I don’t have a lot of value to add right now.
What I do want to write about instead, is a general feeling I’m getting about the world. A world that is damaged and topsy-turvy. There are not many safe havens left. Very few places where you can escape to, where everything is blissful and stable. We’re in a state of turmoil, whichever side you look, both in our country and then further ashore as well.
I thought it was high time for a blog post explaining all my recent activities, because training to become a surf lifeguard at the grand old age of 40 could be seen as a very obscure thing to do. Even more so for me, because I am a creature who loves her little comfort zone. It’s cosy in my shell and warm – everything is safe here. But here’s why I took the plunge recently and trained to become a lifeguard:
It’s been quiet around here because I’ve been floundering a bit. Which takes a lot to admit, isn’t that weird? We have no trouble posting all the shiny brilliant parts of our lives on social media, but when it comes to the tricky parts, the stressful parts and the sad parts – we suddenly get all shy. I suppose sadness is personal, it feels more private, while we are more comfortable with our happiness being public. This all adds up to a perfect storm, as we’re constantly seeing only the happy parts of someone’s life. It’s completely distorted.
I’m nearly 40 folks. 4-0. How cool is that, that I got here? When so many don’t. Which is why I don’t see any reason on this planet why I should hide my age. Or feel embarrassed. Hush, I’ve dared to grow older! Don’t tell a soul! Let’s all pretend we’re still 20! How silly. And how unfair.
It’s been a funny thing, not blogging for a while. I didn’t think I’d miss it. Some ex-bloggers I know said that it would take a bit of getting used to, but eventually the desire to share my thoughts with others would wear off. Well, it hasn’t for me. What do non-writers do when they have a thought in their head that simply won’t simmer down? Do you wait patiently for it to go away, like an irritating fly that won’t stop buzzing around? Writing seems a way to lay my fears to rest, or articulate my thoughts more coherently, or simply work through an issue. It feels like a yoga class for my brain. Without this platform, I feel a bit cooped up. Like I’ve been sitting on an airplane in a tiny economy class seat for 10 hours and no one has allowed me to get up and stretch my legs.