The year got off to a slow start for me.
Business had slackened in the run-up to Christmas and the year was essentially over mid-way through December. Then we went through a strange kind of limbo over the holiday period: I knew there wouldn’t be many new projects coming in from clients, but I was too tired to do much work on my own stuff. Finally, realising that no one else was likely to get back into the swing of things business-wise until after the school term started, I decided to actually go away for a proper break and try and recoup.
But when I came back in mid-January, I was ill, first with a stomach bug and then with one of the strains of ‘flu that’s been going around. Friends and colleagues had also been struck down, so lots of project meetings and get-togethers were cancelled or postponed.
With the coming of the Chinese New Year, I thought things might be back on track. Even since then, though, it has been an uphill struggle to coordinate clients and colleagues to commit to meetings and get enough people together to move projects forward.
So here we are, already in March, and the year only just seems to be beginning: in some respects, then, 2019 has started slowly.
Looking at it from a different perspective, the first two months have gone by in a bit of a blur and I can’t believe there are only ten months left till 2020. The year is running away with me and I am in danger of being left behind.
I was thinking about this distortion of time, speed and focus as I watched some local runners racing past my house this weekend. There they all were, raindrops and sweat mingling as they squelched their way along in heavy drizzle, while I was safe and warm indoors, looking out through the bullseye glass pane in the old front door.
Sometimes, life just seems to be a bit unclear, the proportions are wrong and the pieces don’t seem to connect or add up.
Sometimes you’re caught up in a group.
And at other times you seem to be completely alone.
Even when you have a definite route and schedule planned, if you step away, the perspective changes and the defined limits can seem to waver. But although the road markings seemed distorted for me, just a couple of yards off to one side, the runners were where they needed to be and managed to keep on track.
It’s important to be centred – to remember that, however much things blur beyond you, there is a still point somewhere, where everything is clear and calm.
I think that’s probably enough of the homespun philosophy for the moment.
To close, a few daffodils, which, if I’d only been more focused, I’d have posted for St David’s Day, on March 1st.