I'm sitting in my new favourite local café, Veneto, nursing an iced soy latte, tablet on the table, listening to Italian love songs drift through the hidden speakers.
My visit to town started with a trip to Henry's to try on a couple of suits, one for hire, one to buy, for my brother's July wedding. Hannah from my fitness group works there and is always so kind and accommodating, nothing is too much trouble. A quick fitting and I'm fairly sure I'm going to invest and buy rather than hire. Quick, easy, friendly service, what a joy!
Excluding a very brief post office visit my next stop was the independent Natural Health Store in George Street where I bought some healthy essentials had a friendly chat with owner Annette. Her near future also includes weddings; three sons are marrying one weekend after the other in an amazing convergence of fates. As we talked it struck me how lucky I am. She has not had a holiday in 6 years, due to the demands of being an independent trader. We had also been discussing Sindy Matthews who also works incessantly with little time to relax. I may have designs on a career other than the one I have, not because I dislike my current one, but because I want to fulfil myself more creatively, but I do have luxuries afforded to me by the job I do. Time off is a given, with plenty of holiday and every weekend. That is time I should make the most of, to fulfil those creative urges. Currently my job is not all-consuming, nor excessively demanding, and it does give me a good degree of flexibility.
I am lucky too because I am surrounded by so many beautiful, generous people. Hannah of Henry's is one of the loveliest ladies you would be lucky to meet, and that is true of all the members of Sindy's group. It is her magnetism that draws in determined and positive people. Annette is close with adorable wife and is one of those people who are human hubs of the community, knowing everyone and able to have a finger and toe in so many places, and still run her own business, one that aims to bring health and vitality to the local residents.
It was this last thought that made me realise, as I left her shop, that I need to write a Banbury pulse blog about the Natural Health Store! Stepping across the road I snapped a few shots before heading back in to photograph the interior, discovering, in the process, another item I had needed and missed earlier.
Now I've stepped around the corner for a drink-stop and a quick blogging session, the very one you are reading now, as is my new habit, one that is to be proving extremely fruitful. The smell of freshly cooked eggs, tomato, onion, and herbs is wafting into my nostrils, several paninis and toasties being prepped for a growing selection of patrons. This increase in activity is boosting my spirit further, I like this place and want it to do well. Another Banbury Pulse blog in the making I now realise!
This is my job too. Sampling the world around me and then sharing in with... with whom? With whosever wishes to read! It doesn't matter does it! Just as my last blog declared, I am a writer, that is as much my career now as my day job. Sitting here, putting thoughts into words is a pleasure, but it is also my time. I could use that time for anything: gaming, films, water sports, sky-diving, anything I choose.
I originally imagined my next blog would be about wanting to achieve my dreams, about how hard that is, about the sort of commitment Annette talked about when explaining the sacrifices she had to make to survive the early days of her shop. But now I realise I have already achieved my dream! I'm living it right now! Two published novels, with fans who are neither relations or friends, three blogs (one is in stasis but exists nevertheless), an amazing, beautiful wife, and the best group of friends I could ever have hoped for.
What that doesn't mean my dreams have stopped, they've just got grander. That's why it can feel like I'm still clawing at something unachievable, because as soon as you reach a milestone, we choose another.
I can liken it to my fitness journey. I wanted to get fit. And that I did. But then I wanted to get fitter. So I did. And still I want more. But that doesn't change the fact that I am fitter today than I have ever been in my adult life. Living the dream!
Remember to pause and think about where you are, sometimes you may have arrived at your destination and not even realised!