Guest Blog: The Ageing Plankton
February 22, 2012 § 30 Comments
This is a guest blog for which I want to thank regular commentator, Fi.
Here are 2 of my thoughts. Firstly we are all Planktons because we choose to be. I know a lot of people will deny it, but stop and think about it for a moment. We are where we are because of choices we have made in the past and their consequences, and more significantly we continue to be planktons because of choices we continue to make. Take me for instance. If I decided to go out with the bloke who keeps pursuing me (so obese he needs a stick to walk and even then can’t do more than 10 feet without struggling for breath) then I wouldn’t be a plankton. If I hadn’t told my (first) husband I didn’t want to be married anymore (perfectly nice bloke but I was young and thought the world would always give me opportunities) then I wouldn’t be a plankton. If I hadn’t married my second (horrible) husband and had another child before he scarpered, then maybe I’d have met someone else and I wouldn’t be a plankton. If I hadn’t decided to focus on my kids and refused to meet anyone else, then maybe again I wouldn’t now be a plankton. Or maybe I would. Who knows. The point I’m trying to make is we are all where we are because of things we’ve done in the past, and things we continue to do. It’s not our fault we are , but I do think that actions and decisions have consequences for us and the upside of this thinking is that I firmly believe we can change where we end up. Whether we decide to go someplace new and therefore meet new people, broaden our criteria or just say ‘yes’ to someone or an invitation or simply try something new – all these things send us off down a new route. Recognising that it is one’s own choice does give one the opportunity to change the response from a no to a yes. On the other hand choosing to say no and to continue what is currently being done will only bring about the same result so if that’s the choice don’t complain about the consequence. Yes I know its not fair, its not fair that I only have an obese man chasing (or rather shuffling) after me, but we are where we are. Life is what it is.
My second thought is that film with Jack Nicolson – As Good As It Gets – where he asks a psychiatrist’s waiting room of depressed people “What if this is as good as it gets?”. What if it is? What if there is no man out there that fits your criteria? What if you are always going to be on your own? Till you die? I would say its very likely actually. Younger women, early death of men, their tendency to go out with younger women, the baggage that older plankton’s have….What then? When I watched this film this line struck me and I thought, Bloody hell I’d better get on and enjoy my life now and make the best of it then. So I’ve conciously made the effort to find things that enrich my life, I’ve learnt that it is relationships with people that matter, it’s lovely now its spring again and the days are getting longer so I can do more things in the evening. I spend less money on things, and what I do spend is on experiences like going to the cinema with my daughter, seeing a movie with a friend. I rarely say no to any opportunities to do whatever comes my way even when I don’t think I’ll like it. I still like to think I’ll meet someone who is right for me, and now I’m older I think I can offer more to them than I ever could when I was young and stupid, but I think it’s less likely unless I’m incredibly lucky and bump into them on taking up the new opportunities that come my way, or I decide to broaden my criteria to include people I am not currently considering. But knowing its my choice means I have a realistic view of the world and my place in it, and I’m ok with that. And if I don’t meet someone then my life is still ok.