Odd things, as Mark pointed out to me at gone midnight on Friday night, “they are not what they used to be.” He stated as I tried to explained that it felt as though a long chapter in my life had come to an end.

Remember reading a book and watching the time. You would plan the end of your reading session by finding the end of the chapter and judging how long it would take to finish. But not in todays story, today the chapter isn’t the end of a mini story within an epic novel, it’s just a teaser for the next chapter.

I am now at the end of an old-fashioned chapter and I have put down the novel for a chance to have a breather before I pick up the book once more and carry on. There has been sorrow and happiness, love and endurance, fun and laughter and tears, lots of tears, but in the end, I sighed with deep relief and closure.

What next?

The calm after the storm, a time of emptiness, a time to reflect and plan and make ready for the next chapter?

What next?

Pick up where I left off in the story and carry on, trying to annex the last chapter as a story that related but has not affected the outcome of the legend?

What next?

A new beginning, leaving a blank page, as is customary in all great novels, between the past events that shaped the great hero’s, each chapter in turn telling the tale that leads them to meet.

What next?

Continue as though nothing has changed. But it has, I have buried one friend, spoken to those I have not seen for many years and witnessed the marriage of two dear friends, and I have a new job.

We write our own books, but from time to time the pages of our lives get entangled with the pages from another person’s book and our stories take on a life of their own. We need to stop and take stock before we write the next chapter and I think that is what I need, to take time, to take stock.

I have plans, there are holidays and new projects, there are friends I want to see and places I want to visit. There are things I want to share and secrets I want to keep, but most of all, there are new stories I want to write, but for now I am closing the book, sitting back and just watching the world go by.

I’m not giving up, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t bought the fluffy slippers just yet. I still have things to do, mundane things, housework and more housework and then even more housework. I have gone back to my knitting.

Interlude: I was thirty when I sat in the stalls of the lecture hall, trying desperately to get my head around some formula which I still to this day can’t remember. I struggled, not because of my age, but due to the nonsensical way the academics portrait real life situations. But that’s another story. The girl behind me leant forward, “maybe you should stay at home knitting.” She sneered. I was furious at the suggestion that I was too old to learn.

I learnt a lot at university, including the fact that I can be domesticated, cook and knit and have an interesting brain cell or two. So, sitting back and watching the world go by, with my knitting in hand does not mean that I am giving up and locking my brain away. It’s more a matter of sending it on holiday for a why, before I start work again. Out there in the real World. Preparing for a new chapter to begin.


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