I found out this morning that yesterday a cyclist was involved in an incident with a lorry and was killed. It happened in my home town, at a junction I have cycled through many times myself. This upsets me. Seeing pictures of police combing the area for evidence made the event more real for me and I cried. It makes me angry too. I want to cycle to the funeral and stand there in my colourful clothes in protest and solidarity.
But I don’t really know what happened. My anger could be misdirected. My anger could be unnecessary and unwanted. To me though, this does highlight the need to live and appreciate my life.
Yesterday was pretty uneventful in my bubble. I didn’t know about the accident then. I have noticed a tendency to find positive experiences in my more difficult times. In a sense finding the silver lining. But nothing difficult happened, though I guess struggling with depression and sense of direction counts in a way but to be truthful, these were at a background level. I knew I had to make sure I did things to keep my mental health on an upward trend. For me that means balancing time in the house with time outside, time inside my head with time experiencing the world, time alone with time being with others, time doing things for myself with time supporting others.
I think I did fine during the day. But I was aware that when evening comes I tend to let the discipline go. I can end up in front of the TV either watching programmes or playing video games, not bothering to eat much for hours on end. Now the programmes can be educational and the gaming social so its not as bad as some people might think but sitting for hours until is not good for me.
So I decided in the afternoon that I would make sure I had a decent meal and I would take the dog for a longer walk after eating somewhere different. I walked to the shops and got myself a balanced meal that I really looked forward to. Cooked the food and spent time enjoying eating it. I didn’t eat too much. I finished it off with a nice yoghurt and a mug of coffee with a single biscuit. Actually the first one broke getting it out of the packet and on the planet inside my mind, this meant I had to have a second non-broken one. And despite the tiredness I felt, I popped the dog into the car and drove into town. We are lucky to have two large parks saddling the centre of the town which are also bordered by a large river.
I parked the car outside a fairly deserted sports centre took a two and a half or so kilometre was around the perimeter of the park. It was a litter after 8pm. The heat of the day still lingered but at a more bearable temperature particularly with the south-westerly breeze. It is so easy to forget that the long summer days we have up in Scotland give people a lot more time to do things in daylight. It seems the sun barely dips below the horizon now and it never truly gets dark. I felt appreciative of the weather we are having and the chance to spend more time outside. I loved the low angle of the sun and the long shadows it cast. I loved the colour and lighting contrast amongst the trees. I stopped and took pictures.
There is a play-park near to where I left the car. I remembered when I took my kids there though I think it has be totally revamped twice since those days. Is changing the equipment once a decade excessive? Still it is always lovely to see kids playing and parents taking part too. I went past three young men driving cans of beer on a bench and reflected that outside drinking isn’t much of a British culture. I guess being outside isn’t much of a British culture for that matter compared to continental Europe. Gone are the days where people travelled to the seaside and sat in deckchairs in coats and hats. I guess the car culture changed that. We can choose when to go, because we drive ourselves.
It occurred to me that this could be my positive experience that I might write about. Nothing flashy or exciting, just a walk in the park on a summer’s evening appreciating the sun and breeze that caressed my skin. I was glad I made the effort, after all I wouldn’t have met Hector a nine month old tan coloured standard Dachshund, and chatted to his owner about my experiences growing up with two black and tan ones.