Time as a trickster of sorts is a theme I find myself coming back to again and again, the key motif being how in the moment life and time can seem like drudgery, but when viewed from the vantage point of hindsight it can seem compressed, like a video watched at 2x speed. My thoughts as I packed up my bags and began to prepare for the short hop back were very much in that vein, not helped I suspect by the long hard year I had had. Between L, her boundless energy and various work related niggles, I was running on empty for the final few weeks before I left. Awaiting me on the other side – in addition to reintegrating myself back – were a big house move, and the mother of all Nigerian parties on the other side of town. If there was any anticipation, it was hope that I would finally get to sink my teeth into a juicy burger, indulge in all the bacon and sausages I could manage, and hop along to the odd Parkrun. As it turns out, all of my fears – and none of the things I was looking forward to – materialized.As is its wont, Reality and expectation never quite matched up.
Besides the physical reasons (being in places quite some distance from where I needed to be), the disruption to my routine was a key reason for the sense of disconnect between the expectation and reality. A slightly different time, not being able to escape to work, and having to drive quite a few less miles to the shops all differed from my lived reality of the past fourteen months. That was disconcerting in some way I am yet to fully understand.
One of the understated joys of living in this corner of the world where I return to from time to time is the lush greenery, always never more than a few hundred metres away. On previous returns, I have had the time, the space and the energy to take it all in – morning runs, afternoon saunters to the shops and the odd city-centre meet up with a friend. On this occasion however, I found myself perpetually short of time. This is also a theme, I am finding. Life and my time as I know it seems gone away for forever, now permanently centred around S and L and all the things they need to get up to.
The year of being forty-two is slowly winding down. Forty-three needs to come with a big reboot switch.