Monday 17 December 2012

Cro Let Loose.

We all have times of happiness as well as times of sorrow. Mostly though, I suspect, it's a rag-bag mixture of both.

When the above photo was taken I had just left college. I had a 1st Class Hons degree in my pocket, my oldest son had just been born, and I'd been offered a provisional place at the RCA; frankly, life offered just about everything.... probably hence that big smile on my face.

Yet I remember feeling a real sense of sadness, combined with a certain amount of fear. Good friends were left behind, much loved places were never to be revisited, and that relaxed enjoyment of student-life would never be repeated. One knew that there was no going back; life had suddenly become SERIOUS.

So, my new 'serious' life began, and to acclimatise to the situation I threw myself into non-stop 'hard graft' (in between full-time teaching duties). If I wasn't working, I was working (know what I mean?).

Then I got itchy feet, and France beckoned; and I've been here ever since. Now, 41 years later, I'm still trying to take life seriously, and working harder than ever. We manage to take-on crazy new projects as easily as buying a tin of baked beans.

So when does it all slow down? When do I really get to take life seriously? When do I grow up? And when does that feeling of sadness go? I'm pretty sure that the answer is NEVER.

I'm told that letting go of youthful irresponsibility is probably more difficult for men. Maybe that laughing carefree ex-student, sitting lonely on the fence, didn't have it so bad after all.

Why do I always feel like this at Christmas!

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  1. I dunno, Cro. Maybe at this time of the year, with one year about to end and another about to begin, we're more acutely aware of the passage of time and of the things and people we've left behind.

  2. Such a piercing post. I feel this way too.

  3. Something to do with the end of another year probably - another year ticked off your lifespan - one you will never get back. In my head I'm still wondering what to do when I grow up - perhaps we never do - grow up, that is.

  4. Oddly enough I had this sort of converstation yesterday when I was asked out of the blue but with the utmost sincerity, 'Why do some people just give up?' 'I don't know', I replied, 'perhaps they get too tired'. 'But you didn't give up after your heart attack!'
    I didn't really want to go into that because I very nearly did. Knowing I was now unfit for further employment in my profession aged only 50 was a hard and bitter pill to swallow. But, out of darkness comes light so I am now self employed and will be a restaurateur. There is a difference between taking it a bit easier and having nothing at all to do. The latter is a slow form of death eroding self worth. Knowing that one still has something to contribute makes carrying on so attractive.

    A very thoughtful post, Cro.

  5. Good post. When I reached retirement age I felt it was a new beginning, not the end of life as I knew it. Three and a half years later I still look for new projects to get my teeth into, and I still feel like I am a teenager. When will I move on, I don't know.

  6. Handsome devil, weren't you? From what I read on your blog about your life you are living it beautifully. Too much about my 'growing up' makes me cringe when looking back ... don't you think it's a life-long, never-ending process?

  7. You're not alone Cro.
    When I worked as a counsellor, I was always particularly busy over Xmas and into the New Year. It seems to be about taking stock as the old year ends and deciding what one wants to take into the New Year and what changes one wants to make. You sound pretty sorted to me :-)

  8. apart from looking like a lecturer from the open University....
    I think you are just reflecting normally at the time of year that screams introspection....

  9. Do you think our parents ever felt grown up ? I always thought they did...but now, as I'm older than my mother ever got to be, I suspect she saw it as her job to hide the feelings you describe so well.
    I'm still loving your thoughts on each day Cro...dont change. J.

    1. I think I just pretend to be grown up for my children's and grandchildren's sake. But inside.....

  10. Most people are reflective at this time of year I think. It's a combination of long dark nights with nothing much on the telly, the prospect of meeting up with family and friends who you might not have seen for a while, sorting the holiday photos out, looking forward to next year and realising that last year has been and gone forever.
    For me, a Christmas card from someone I haven't spoken to for a year and hearing their news can start me off.

  11. I always get a little teary at's worse than a birthday I think..

  12. I know I still feel like the very same person I have always been when you take age out of the picture. Sometimes I act immature, sometimes serious. I know one thing, I think about how little time I have left here more than I used to.

  13. I typically feel this way around my birthday as i reflect upon where i am, where i want to be, and what i've done or left undone.

    This time of year tends to be very sad for me as some loved ones died in December, so i tend to be a bit reflective, and having people jostling and wanting me to go to parties seems to underscore that all the more.

    This year, my social calendar has been mostly open, which has worked much better for me. I go along, some days happy and grateful, other days doleful and am doing what i can to live each day as it presents itself.

  14. I was laughing with a friend the other day about "would we ever feel mature?" I'm hoping not.

  15. must agree with others, it's THAT time of year for closing down, getting quiet, hunkering down, reviewing one's life. Quite a handsome picture of you, Cro. Don't ever get too serious...what would life be without some childish hilarity?


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