The world at 4am and I are becoming well acquainted. Oh, yes, I did go to bed and fall asleep at 10pm last night. However, I happened to move, so I woke up rapidly. At midnight. And that was that. Groan. I no longer have a problem with time zones. I am awake through the lot of them.
And the weather has not improved since 4am either. It is still grey and wet and distinctly revolting. I opened the windows wide, as it is supposed to be summer after all, and nearly froze to death. I need a wood burning stove, and, so help me, if I actually had one, I would have lit it at 4am. You may just have realised that I was up and dressed at 4am. I am subtle like that.
Back to musings....
20 years ago, I was visiting friends here in England. I was 34 years old. We were planning an imminent move to the UK and were going to go around the world on the way here. And almost 20 years ago to the day, I fell pregnant with my youngest child, who is now 6ft 5" and anything but the tiny thing he was when he was born. But 20 years ago, I didn't know he was going to be in the picture at all. My children were growing - 11 and 7, and I was dreaming of a life in a new country with my family. Those plans had to go on hold for 2 more years, and life changed quite dramatically. We were back to nappies and pushchairs and keeping up with toddlers all over again! He has been a total blessing to us all, and I am so glad he arrived, albeit unexpectedly. I could never have imagined having another son 20 years ago, so yes, my life is very different to the one I envisaged back then. We became a family of 5.
I can honestly say that throughout my life, I have never had 10 year plans, or such like. Dreams, yes, but the plans were short-term. 20 years ago, I was lucky enough to be a stay at home Mum, and I loved every moment of it.
10 years ago, I was dreaming of the times when my children would finish school, go to good universities and take their places in the adult world. 2 of them have done that, and the 3rd is now on his way too. 10 years ago, my parents had come for a visit, and my Dad got very ill, and they had to stay here in England with us. 10 years ago, life altered dramatically, and we had to add on to our house, I was flying back and forth to SA and I learned that making plans was not a great idea. That was when the I started focussing on every day as it came. I couldn't envisage what life would be like today.
Life is nothing like I imagined it would be. It is different. But different is not always bad or wrong. Do I mourn unrealised plans? Not really. I have regrets, of course. I am human. Decisions I might have made differently with that "all knowing" hindsight, of course! Life today would have been a lot easier if I had always been a career woman. But I had no desire to be a career woman. And note that the question was about unrealised plans, not dreams. I have unrealised dreams, of course. Many of them. But the nature of dreams is that they are never unrealised. They are just pending. They are not time specific. They can still happen.
And I am happy. I have so much to be happy about. Life is exciting - well, when one is not bound to the couch, of course - and I have absolutely NO idea what is going to happen next. I have always lived with a sense of anticipation, of the next adventure around the corner, and it is just as well I am not a frightened rabbit. Who knows what the next 10 or 20 years will bring? I am absolutely NOT going to waste time worrying about them.
20 years ago, I could not have imagined the son I now have or the wonderful adults my children all are. Or that I would have a daughter-in-law. Or that my sister would meet a wonderful man and end up marrying him and living in such a spectacular place. Or that I would love it so much. Or that my Mum would be here. Or that I would be doing what I am doing. Or that I would have been to NZ. Or that I would have so many great friends I had never met back then. Or that I would love this village I live in, which I didn't know back then. Or that I would have so much to be thankful for. Or that I could grow things. Or that .........
I couldn't have imagined what was in store for me. It is, for all the minor irritations and frustrations, a wonderful life, you know. Full. But always with room for more adventures. And just think, 20 years ago, we had no idea at all how wonderful technology would be, and how it would link all our lives like a big spider's web, all over the world. What will we be doing in 20 years time? How can anyone not be excited at the thought????