Thursday, 11 September 2008

Thinking About The Future

I suppose that I stopped thinking about the future in September 1998. All of us make long-term plans, although sometimes they are really little more than wishes of where we would like to be or what we would like to have achieved by a certain date in the years ahead. Sometimes they can be more concrete plans where arrangements are made for the things that we want to happen.

My husband and I both loved travelling and seeing new places. Occasionally you find somewhere that you fall in love with and for us that was Corfu. But even though we went there every year, we would also try new places or new things. We had a monumental holiday in 1996 where we spent five and a half weeks travelling the east coast of Australia. It took about six months to scan through brochures and guide books to decide what we wanted to do and where we wanted to see. In the end we settled for a guided coach tour from Cairns to Brisbane, and then my cousin and her husband, who emigrated to Oz about 20 years ago, were to join us and we drove from Brisbane to Melbourne from where we were to fly home again.

It was an absolutely fantastic holiday where we saw incredible wildlife, and experienced all sorts of environment. From rain forests outside Cairns, to a number of different islands on the Great Barrier Reef. Then there were the cities, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. We drove for miles in the bush, and at one point were diverted from our carefully planned route by a bush fire, and then we had to struggle to find our way to where we wanted to be. Unfortunately, the police had set up the diversion, but they made no effort to direct you back onto the main roads from there. Blindly following the car in front is not always a wise thing to do. We stayed at a beautiful island south of Townsville where kangaroos jumped in and out of the hotel and along its corridors, and at another island I went swimming only to find myself surrounded by hundreds of fish. On Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, we saw freshwater lakes of incredible blue, and dingos nestled in little holes that they dug in the sand. While we were in Brisbane I hand-fed kangaroos, wallabies and emus, and had one of the greatest thrills of my life when I got to cuddle a koala. The night before we arrived at Melbourne was spent at Phillip Island so that we could see the penguins come out of the sea to return to their nests at dusk. It was a holiday to remember.

In 1998 we started to plan what we would do for our 25th wedding anniversary, and after much deliberation we wondered whether a long cruise might fit the bill. But I did have one concern and that was whether I would be able to take to life on board a ship. I am not a great traveller; it's not that I get sick, I just don't like the time that it takes to get from one place to another, so if someone could actually make a working transporter system like that in Star Trek, then I would probably volunteer to try it out. So we booked a short cruise to give the experience a trial. After all, what was the point of spending a lot of money on what was meant to be the holiday of a lifetime only to find that we hated it. But that cruise didn't happen. My husband died before we tried the cruising experience and so that is still something that I have not tried.

Since then I have not made long-term plans about anything. Depression has meant that sometimes I don't even know how I am going to get through today, let alone make plans for a time that is off in the distant future. Yes, I sometimes think that it would be nice to do such and such a thing, or to visit this or that place, but whereas in the past things were preplanned and booked far ahead of when they we going to happen, now I rarely plan more than a few weeks ahead. I try not to be pessimistic about my future, but I have learned that you cannot tell what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone in six months or a year.

But just sometimes I wish that I could forget all that has happened to me in the last 10 years and make some plans for the future.


Silvawingz said...

I Think it was John Lennon who said "Life is what happens while you are making other plans".......Enjoyed your post and will return to read past posts it's so well written.
Take Care.

Anonymous said...

Hi, fairly new to your blog and not sure where I came from, linkwise that is, not physically ;-). I too have suffered from depression, of one sort or another, sporadically, and more often than not for the last decade or so, however I'm just commenting for the first time to say that despite virtually continuous lethargy, planning a small trip, or something out of the humdrum gives me a real lift, and that if I don't over-do it too much the 'glow' can last for up to 6 weeks after. I too can never plan more than a week in advance, but have managed to get myself, first to the other end of the country for a friends surprise party (which I hated, but then again it wasn't for my benefit), second to Frankfurt on a cheap flight to meet up with a Canadian cousin, then last and by my standards almost miraculously to my best friends wedding in Sydney! Not doling out advice, not my place, but have you tried a last minute long weekend somewhere, say Wales or the Lakes? For me it gave my virtually non existant confidence, not to mention mood, a real boost that I'd achieved something my 'normal' friends couldn't do.
All the very best wishes.

alhi said...

I can't recommend a cruise enough. My parents took me on one after my hip replacement and we weren't able to book it much in advance because we weren't sure how I would be. It was a small ship (in comparison to the size of some of the cruise ships) so quite personal. There was also lots to do (deck quoits, putting tournament for golfers and non golfers alike, port lectures, music entertainment, quizes, internet, a library) and a get together for those people travelling alone. If you could even think of planning a month or 6 months ahead I truly think you would enjoy it.

Deb Acle said...

New girl here too...just wanted to say how very sad I was reading about your husband's sad and sorry.

Thinking of you...