Becoming a grown up
You'd think that, having got to 59 (60 this year), I'd know what being a grown up looks like but since Ash's diagnosis I've begun to realise how far from that state I've been most of my adult life. With Ash to lean on I've never really had to grow up. He was always there to support me, to tell me I was amazing and to make me feel I was a fully independent woman without me actually having to take on much in the way of responsibility. This was really brought home to me yesterday when out for a walk with my Monday walking friend. We'd traipsed across fields, climbed hills and got lost at footpath junctions all the while putting the world to rights on topics as varied as the NHS, education, teenagers, New Zealand, Corona Virus, diet and so on. Suddenly we got to a particularly boggy section of the footpath with no way round, just a way through with the help of wooden fence posts laid across the deep mud, tree stumps to balance on and small rocks to lead the way. Friend picked her way through it all while I stood and looked in total dismay. I'm not good when I feel out of control either mentally or physically and those fence posts looked wobbly while the tree stumps looked slippery and I could see myself face down in the quagmire if I wasn't careful. Friend looked at me quizzically from the other side and waited patiently for me to follow her but I was frozen to the spot. In the past you see Ash would have carried me across on his back but friend is half my size and I could just imagine her response if I even brought myself to suggest it. Luckily pride rode to the rescue, I took a deep breath and started out and guess what - it wasn't as far as I'd thought or as deep as I'd expected or as wobbly underfoot as I'd feared so, in no time at all, I'd joined her (and I didn't even get a 'well done' because what I'd achieved wasn't, in the scheme of things, very remarkable at all). My personal sense of achievement however was through the roof and took me one more step towards being a grown up. By the way I told this story this morning when out walking with a different group of friends. They listened in silence and then fell about in uncontrollable laughter at the very thought of me expecting to be carried across boggy ground.
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