Today unusually I find myself a) on my own and b) not at home. What to do? Eat and drink and read and write. I’ve found a corner table in a very busy cafe. The food is great and the tea hot. All good.
The girls at the table next to me are chatting constantly, totally oblivious to me. In contrast, a man (of a couple) near me, keeps looking at me. Is there balsamic dressing dribbling down my chin? Or salad in my teeth? He looks at me and then conveniently looks at the mirrors on the wall behind me. Not even a picture – and he can’t see himself! So……. Now he’s distracted by his phone and I can take another bite in peace.
There is happy chatter all around me. Maybe conversations about Christmas just past or the new year that’s just arrived with a great ta-da! There are a lot of calories being consumed around me. It must still be the early transition stages of ‘being good’. We’ll all be good one day I’m sure.
I can never really put my finger on what it is about a new year that gives a feeling of hope. How can a new number, slightly larger than the last one, make a difference? Nothing magical happened when Jools Holland counted down to midnight on Tuesday and the pipers played Auld Lang Syne.
Or did it?
Maybe the hope is the magic. Hope that grows out of last year’s journey and strengthens our heart for the year ahead. Hope for some changes. New ventures. Adventures. Hope that the ‘same old’ will continue to be comfortingly so. That I’ll grow some more on the inside.
The ‘me’ that ended 2019 is definitely different to the one of 2018. That ‘me’ was reeling, shocked, numb and devastated. A bit like a rabbit in the headlights, dodging the juggernauts.
Now I feel like I’ve moved to the hard shoulder. I can nibble a bit at the grass through the barrier. I can see some safe places over there. The traffic is still thundering past, shaking my whiskers and giving me a fright from time to time. I can still see where I’ve come from and can’t quite believe I made it in one piece to be honest, and that sends chills through me.
This time last year, if mirror man had watched me sitting here all alone I probably would have cried – and not cared. Now I meet his gaze and wonder if he’d like some of my bacon and avocado flatbread stack. I don’t think he does.