Away, what-if’s, begone

I had a thought today that seemed extremely pertinent and interesting for at least three quarters of the human race and I was very pleased to have a real subject to write about, and then I mopped the kitchen floor with two small sponges (where oh where did the mop go?) and somehow scrubbed the thought out of my brain in the process. It will no doubt come back and next time I’ll be waiting for it with a notepad and pencil, so there’s something for you to look forward to over the next couple of weeks but in the meantime here I am, YET AGAIN, without a true subject to write about. And this, I realise is the story of my life. Little Miss No Plan. And where did that get me? Nowhere – literally – this village is the exact centre of Absolutely Nowhere and what’s more it’s called Gras which means ‘greasy’ or ‘fatty’, in the sense of an unwashed frying pan or a sausage with too much fat in it. I am the exact opposite of Scarlett Johannsen: a totally unknown actress, dressed purely in hand-me-downs and/or clothes I’ve had since I was twelve (including a pair of green gym pants from Lovat Middle School), living in a place which evokes greasy sausages and which I sincerely believe is having an effect on my hair which is also starting to evoke greasy sausages. So maybe a change of tactic is called for. But what? I’ve tried “being dynamic” – going for a seven kilometre run in the cold, getting home, hot shower, assertively phoning directors and studios up, sending letters and CV’s and photos (admittedly not the most professional photo one could send – I took it myself in the bathroom mirror without a scrap of make-up on and if you blow it up too big it’s not even vaguely in focus and you can see the shower taps behind me)… for a while this actually kept me quite buoyant but this long cold January has succeeded in shrivelling up my balloon and a deflated feeling has set in making me reach for coffee and chocolate. However, this is when I compare myself to the aforemantioned lovely Scarlett of course. I could also compare myself to a young mummy from Haiti who’s just lost most of her family under the rubble. Or to my lovely friend in Paris who was going to buy a house and five days before exchanging contracts had it pre-empted by the council leaving her to live in a flat the size of our bathroom along with her man and her 3-year old boy, and a new baby due to be born in a few months. All of a sudden I feel very lucky. It’s all just a matter of perspective and we tend to spend too much time comparing ourselves to others – largely at our own expense of course. Why do we do it? What is it about us that makes us want to be better, richer, more successful, more beautiful than our fellow fellows? Is this what we call the Rat Race? I don’t see rats comparing themselves to their neighbouring rat. They just get on with it. So why don’t we stop this comparison lark and simply live life in the present moment? Hmmm, this is starting to smell like an excuse for having No Plan Whatsoever. And that is not what I’m trying to get at. I don’t actually know what I’m trying to get at, but I just know that I’m spending too much time on my own and my brain is starting to torture me with “what-ifs”. What if you’d stayed in England? What if you lived in Paris? What if you’d hooked up with that casual lover who turned out to be a successful director and film actor? I have no idea, and there’s absolutely no point in thinking about it, so why oh why oh why does my mind keep switching back onto that tiresome channel? I’m going to try re-wiring my brain. Each time it starts heading back to the What-if programme I shall pick up my hula hoop and do a hundred hulas to the right and a hundred to the left (it’s important to balance the sides out as otherwise you end up with a very strange shaped waist and possible hip and knee injuries). Or I shall dig the garden over. Or I shall write a limerick.

There once was a village called Greasy,

Whose sheep were overly fleecy,

Their ears were so woolly

That they couldn’t hear fully,

Unless they put on ACDC.

I shall leave you with that thought and promise to start working on A PLAN with which I can not only amuse and provoke you into deep philosophical reflection on a daily basis, but can succeed in starring alongside lovely Scarlett in a film about shepherdesses and thus appear in People magazine with my bits poking out of my bikini.

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