Tuesday 27 March 2007

Why do these things make me sad?

Last night I watched 'The Notebook' - to catch up on the bits I'd missed when the DVD was skipping at Claire's. It's very very lovely. I also finished reading 'The Story of Lucy Gault', which is a great book. However, both of these things made me sad.... and I was trying to figure out why.

They're both about people's lives from childhood/teenage years right through to old age, and something about that makes me sad. I think it's partly that it seems to highlight the brevity of life - especially when someone goes from a teenager to an old people's home in the space of a 2 hour film, or a day's reading of a book. And maybe it's also because they both show people making choices which affect their lives right to the very end - in one case, a choice which led to good, and in the other, a choice which led to sadness.

In 'The Notebook', the choice is very obvious - there's a scene where the girl (Allie) has to decide then and there who she's going to be with forever. She makes the choice, and that's that - they all live happily ever after. In 'The Story of Lucy Gault', the choice is not so clear-cut - even by the end of the book, there are lots of 'if onlys' hanging over the outcome... if only one thing hadn't happened, if only someone had written a letter a little bit earlier, if only they hadn't assummed so much... Lucy makes a bad choice early on, but it's influenced by something else and then compounded by other things that happen later.

I think it's the 'if onlys' that make me sad.

I'm currently trying to decide about work.... where do I go from here - should I change jobs? To what? - something similar but with more prospects? Something totally different? Or should I stay in my present job? It would be nice if it was a clear-cut Allie choice - if I could follow my heart and live happily ever after. But it's not. I guess I'm scared of the 'if onlys'... will I look back in 30 years and say 'if only I'd made that move sooner' or 'if only I'd chosen a different career' or 'if only I'd not spent so much time trying to find the perfect job for me'? Or, in the long run, will it not make much difference?

I can't control how things will weave together or the questions I'll be asking in 30 years' time though... so I guess I need to make the decision for now. And right now I want to find a new job. So I think that's what I'll do... any suggestions are welcome!!

Wednesday 21 March 2007

What I did this weekend

So, the question is, what to write for my first proper blog entry... The difficulty is, I've been away for a few days and hence not had much time for serious thinking. However, I did finish reading 'Prayer', Philip Yancey's latest book, and was really impressed by it. I'll get a few quotes together for the next entry.

I've just had a good weekend though - I was visiting Claire, who lives in York, and amongst other things I did the following:
1. Taught Claire to do cross stitch - which she picked up very impressively.
2. Watched 'The Notebook' - which unfortunately started skipping about an hour in, and didn't sort itself out until 15 minutes from the end... so methinks I'll take a little trip to Xtravision some night and see what I missed. What I saw was very good though.
3. Attended my first ever Roman Catholic Mass - very exciting for me! It was very enjoyable; I like the sense of majesty and wonder that it evokes - different from my usual Sunday service, and lots of things to make me think.
4. Visited the National Railway Museum.
5. Remembered how much I like English pubs. Especially ones with cats wandering about while I eat dinner. Why can't we have nice pubs in Belfast?
6. Bought a book of Japanese logic puzzles. Some of you will not understand how exciting this is. Or how little spare time I will have for the next few weeks.
7. Got a bus to myself on the way there (Leeds Airport->York), a bus to myself on the way back (apart from the driver obviously) and 2 seats to myself on the plane home.
8. Discovered that York is officially the second city of England (or something like that).
9. Watched the France-Scotland match in disbelief/panic/fear and trembling.

Monday 12 March 2007


Welcome to my blog... I decided to start a blog for a few reasons:
I like reading, and reading makes me think, and I like thinking. But somehow I never get around to reading and thinking as much as I should. So I hope that by keeping a blog, other people will encourage me to read more.... I also think it's important to expose my thinking to other people so that they can agree/disagree and help me to refine it.
So, welcome to my blog - I'm sure I won't update it as often as I'd like, but do keep visiting. Please leave comments!!